Tim Winton is one of the most versatile and popular writers of modern fiction in Australia
. Born in 1960
in Western Australia
Winton's writing has an affinity with the open spaces of his country as well as the expanses of blue ocean that surround it. Water
, and people's relationship with it, is often a central theme-piece in Winton's writing.
While not a prolific author in terms of volume of work much of Winton’s writing has either won or been short listed for various literary prizes. His first novel, An Open Swimmer won The Australian/Vogel Award in 1981. In 1984, Shallows won the Miles Franklin Award as did his best-known novel, Cloudstreet, in 1991. Another outstanding work, The Riders, was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1995. Winton’s latest offering, Dirt Music has also been short listed for the Miles Franklin Award for 2002. His other work, besides novels, includes Children’s Stories and some non-fiction publications of Australian interest.
Not everyone loves Winton’s writing, some have described it as parochial and lackadaisical substituting familiar Australian jingoism for atmosphere and plot. However, he does have the marvellous skill of somersaulting the story of ordinary people’s lives and struggles into something irresistible.