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Morris West: Literary Maverick

Morris West: Literary Maverick

Maryanne Confoy

ISBN: 978-1-740-31119-9

Jul 2011

304 pages

Select type: Paperback


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Often compared to Graham Greene, Australia's highest-selling author, Morris West was considered the first Australian author to truly crack the overseas market and he was also the first to create what has now become known as the blockbuster Australian novel - paving the way for well-known authors such as Colleen McCulloch, Di Morrissey and Bryce Courtenay. Maryanne Confoy captures the true essence of the man; the writer; outspoken Catholic and literary icon up until his death in 1999. In what can only be described as a poignant and passionate account of one man's life, Morris West describes West's childhood growing up in the then working class neighbourhood of Melbourne's St Kilda. It traces his adolescence, his Catholic life and his literary life - all culminating in his rise as our first international writer. Reminiscent of classic Ruth Park novels in tone, Morris West encapsulates this literary legend's life in all its glory. A career spanning generations including the adaptations of his bestsellers into Hollywood films such as The Devil's Advocate, Morris's books have also been translated into many languages with millions of books sold worldwide. Morris West's status as an iconic Australian will truly be preserved in this landmark book.
About the author vi

The works of Morris West vii

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction 1

1. The divided worlds of childhood 7

2. A raw youth in flight 31

3. From monk to manhood 59

4. Self-made men: the dreamer and the schemer 79

5. Career and marriage: closures and beginnings 109

6. Fame and fortune: fact and fiction 133

7. A writer at work and play 163

8. Australian citizen and expatriate 197

9. Politics in church and society: a lifelong critique 229

10. The man without a shadow: haunted by shame? 269

11. The man, his faith and his God 295

12. The view from the ridge: a new horizon 319

Notes 339

References 357

Index 363