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Blanche d'Alpuget Blanche d'Alpuget i(A9406 works by)
Born: Established: 1944 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Born in 1944 in Sydney, Blanche D'Alpuget is a biographer, novelist and scriptwriter. She worked as a journalist in Australia and the UK before going to live for several years in Indonesia and Malaysia where she continued to write for various newspapers and journals. Her experiences there led to her writing fiction, and her first novel, Monkeys in the Dark (1980), featuring a young journalist and her reactions to the problems of living in Indonesia, received much critical acclaim.

In 1979, D'Alpuget won a senior fellowship from the Literature Board to work on her second novel, Turtle Beach (1981), which received attention when produced as a film in 1992, and when it was later banned in Indonesia. Set in Malaysia, the novel won several awards including the South Australian Government's Bicentennial Book of the Year Award, and the Age Book of the Year Award.

D'Alpuget's works include her first book, Mediator, a biography of Sir Richard Kirby (1977) which arose from the interest she shared with Kirby in Indonesian affairs. Perhaps her best known work, Robert J. Hawke : a Biography (1982), received several awards and established her as one of Australia's leading writers. This biography was followed by Winter in Jerusalem (1986), The Workers (1987) and White Eye (1993), a thriller set in Sydney and the bush. She has been the recipient of many awards for fiction and non-fiction.

In the early 1990s D'Alpuget worked as a goodwill ambassador assessing refugee issues for Austcare which involved spending time in Vietnam and Thailand. In 1993 she visited Croatia and subsequently helped to raise support for Bosnian women severely affected by the war.

During the 1990s, D'Alpuget studied for several years to become a priest of the Independent Church of Australia, a breakaway group of the Church of England formed in 1969.

Blanche D'Alpuget married former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke in 1995.

Most Referenced Works


  • Tape of an interview with d'Alpuget by Caroline Jones held NSL.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon White Eye Ringwood : Viking , 1993 Z500299 1993 single work novel
— Appears in: National Graduate , Autumn 1994; (p. 11-13)
1994 winner National Library of Australia National Audio Book-of-the-Year Award TDK Australian Audio Book Awards Overall Winner and Unabridged Fiction Category
y separately published work icon Winter in Jerusalem Cammeray : Simon and Schuster Australia , 1986 Z365578 1986 single work novel
1987 joint winner International Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize South-East Asia and South Pacific Region Best Book from the Region Award
y separately published work icon Turtle Beach Ringwood : Penguin , 1981 Z34130 1981 single work novel

'Two women, two worlds. Together they must risk everything

'Judith Wilkes, an ambitious journalist, leaves her husband and two sons in Australia and goes to Malaysia to report on the international refugee crisis. Ten years earlier, Malaysia provided Judith with her first major career success, but also with a personal disaster that she would like to forget.

'While on assignment Judith encounters Minou, the manipulative young French-Vietnamese wife of a high-ranking Australian diplomat. Minou is desperate to rescue her children from Saigon, who were left behind when she fled. Judith also begins a romance with the enigmatic Indian scholar Kanan. These new loyalties throw her headlong into dramatic personal and professional dilemmas. It is on the East Malaysian coast, where the giant turtles gather to lay their eggs, that the conflict reaches its tragic, brutal climax.'  (Publication summary)

1981 winner Government Biennial Literature Prize (SA)
1981 shortlisted National Book Council Award for Australian Literature
1981 winner Braille Book of the Year Award
1981 winner The Age Book of the Year Award Imaginative Writing Prize
1981 winner Sydney PEN Golden Jubilee Award
Last amended 16 Jun 2011 12:45:51
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