David Malouf Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

David George Joseph Malouf (mah-LOOF) shows diversity both in his background and in his writing. He was born in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. He grew up in this provincial city and graduated from the University of Queensland in 1954. His mother of British descent, his father Lebanese, Malouf from an early age identified with both Australia and Europe. At twenty-five, after working at temporary jobs in Brisbane, he moved to England, where he taught until 1968, when he returned to Australia. For the next ten years he lectured in literature at the University of Sydney. After the publication of several books of poetry and two novels, he decided to devote himself entirely to writing and moved to a Tuscan village. In 1985 he began to divide his time between Italy and Australia, as well as traveling in Europe and North America, insisting that he was not an expatriate. The autobiographical essays in 12 Edmondstone Street attempt to explain his double attachment to Australia and Europe.

This tow between two continents manifests itself in Malouf’s writing, which draws from both worlds. His major preoccupations are the oppositional forces within each individual and those in nature. He has chosen a wide range of literary forms to express these concerns.

Malouf published first as a poet, beginning in 1962, when he shared a book with three other Australian poets. Three more collections of poems appeared before the publication of his first novel, Johnno, in 1975. He continued to write verse, with Poems, 1959-1989 published in 1992. Commenting on his poetry, Malouf said: “I wrote poetry for a long time before I wrote prose that I thought publishable, and I think that you learn habits of working as a poet which I’ve used in making the fictions, so I think they are in their structures very poetic.” Although highly regarded in Australia for poetry as well as fiction, Malouf has gained an international reputation through his novels.

In Johnno, Malouf re-creates his Brisbane childhood during...

(The entire section is 845 words.)


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

The name Malouf is Arabic and was handed on by the writer’s paternal grandfather, who immigrated to Australia from Lebanon late in the nineteenth century; other relatives were from England and were of Portuguese Jewish ancestry. David George Joseph Malouf, the son of George Malouf, a Lebanese Christian, and Welcome Mendoza Malouf, a British-born Portuguese Jewish mother, was born in Brisbane on March 20, 1934. He attended Brisbane Grammar School and graduated in 1950. He earned a bachelor’s degree, with honors in English, from the University of Queensland in 1954. For two years he taught there, and evidently during that period he also began to write poetry. Along with the work of other writers, his verse was published as part of the collection Four Poets in 1962.

Malouf left Australia when he was twenty-four years old and lived in Britain from 1959 until 1968. Between 1962 and 1968 he was a schoolmaster in England at St. Anselm’s College, Birkenhead, Cheshire. When he returned to Australia, he served as a lecturer in English at the University of Sydney until 1977. He was also a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for two years, beginning in 1972. He gained recognition and several awards for his poetry written during his teaching years. The increasing recognition accorded his work encouraged him particularly to devote time to his writing, and in 1978 he began spending part of each year in Australia and part in Grosseto, Italy. Appropriately, much of his writing has tended to deal with cultural confluences and differences that are felt in lands on two sides of the world.


(Short Stories for Students)

David Malouf Published by Gale Cengage

David Malouf was born in Brisbane, Australia, on March 20, 1934, to George and Welcome (Mendoza) Malouf. After he was awarded a degree with...

(The entire section is 325 words.)