Australia Council Chief Executive Officer Tony Grybowski said he was “delighted the Council could recognise the work of Frank Moorhouse through this award given the profound impact he has had on Australian literature.”
Council Literature Strategy Panel Chair Sophie Cunningham said Frank Moorhouse was one of the country’s most influential writers.
“It is always difficult to select just one person from those nominated, but Frank’s highly influential, always timely and extraordinary contributions to Australian literature over so many years was hard to beat,” Ms Cunningham said.
“The assessors wanted to recognise Frank for his lifetime of work as a writer, which started more than five decades ago in 1957, with a short story published in the Southerly journal at the age of 18.”
“Throughout his illustrious career Frank has gone on to win every major national prize for novels, short stories, essays and film scripts. It gives us enormous pleasure to award him the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature for 2013.”
Frank Moorhouse has written many seminal works, including his Edith trilogy, which follows the life of an idealistic Australian woman and her career at the League of Nations and later the International Atomic Energy Agency. One of these books, Dark Palace, won the Miles Franklin Award.
His other novels explore themes of small town life, the Australian bush, travel, Australia’s diplomatic relationship with the world and the changing nature of male, female and gay identity. Early in his career he developed a writing structure, which he called ‘discontinuous narrative’, and his literary innovations have generated numerous academic studies.
Frank has written three feature films based on his work, including The Coca-Cola Kid, which was an official entry in the Cannes Film Festival, and his article The Writer in a Time of Terror won the Victorian Premiers’ Literary Award’s Alfred Deakin Prize for Essay Advancing Public Debate and a Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism.
The Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, formerly the Writers’ Emeritus Award, acknowledges the achievements of eminent literary writers over the age of 60 who have made an outstanding and lifelong contribution to Australian literature. Past winners include Bruce Dawe (2000), the late Christopher Koch (2007) and Herb Wharton (2012).
For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.
Image: Frank Moorhouse by Kylie Melinda Smith