Tim Winton

Brief Biography

Tim Winton was born in 1960 in Western Australia where he still lives. He attended a Creative Writing Course at Curtin University in Perth, and it was while there that he began his first novel An Open Swimmer. This was entered for The Australian/Vogel Award in 1981. It won and Winton has never looked back, utilising his considerable talent to maintain a full-time writing career. Something of an oddity for any Australian writer but especially for one of his age.

There must be something about Winton that leaves book reviewers more than a little non-plussed. In 1991, after the release of Cloudstreet in Britain, Martin Wroe of The Independent described him as "sitting in a hotel foyer, he cuts an unusual figure, three feet of brown hair trailing down his wide back, T-shirt, jeans and cowboy boots." And Anne Chisholm of The Daily Telegraph found him "shortish and roundish, with a freckled oval face, shrewd, friendly brown eyes and waist-length curly dark hair in a long pigtail." Maybe it's the hair which throws them. In any event it doesn't make an appearance in any publicity shots, with the preference here being for either a dreamy faraway look, or eyes-closed, half-asleep expressions combined with a languid body posture. Very odd.

With The Riders Winton made his first appearance on The Booker Prize shortlist in 1995, although it was felt at the time that Cloudstreet only just missed making the list in 1992. The novel did, however, win The Miles Franklin Award in 1992, to follow his first win of that award with Shallows in 1984.

In addition The Riders won the best novel award in the South East Asia and South Pacific section of The Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1995.

Winton was again shortlisted for The Booker Prize in 2002 for his novel Dirt Music, but lost out in a very strong field.

In recent years Tim Winton has become the patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers which is sponsored by the City of Subiaco in Western Australia.

Although a reluctant media performer, Winton appeared on the ABC TV program "Enough Rope" with Andrew Denton in 2004, and a transcript of the program is available.

Tim Winton lives in Western Australia with his wife and three children.


An Open Swimmer 1982
Shallows 1984
That Eye, The Sky 1986
In the Winter Dark 1988
The Collected Short Novels of Tim Winton 1988
       includes An Open Swimmer, That Eye, The Sky and In the Winter Dark
Cloudstreet 1991
The Riders 1994
Blueback 1997
Dirt Music 2001

Short Story Collections
Scission and Other Stories 1985
Minimum of Two 1987
Blood and Water: stories 1993 (comprises the two previous collections plus some other material)
The Turning 2004

Other Short Story Appearances
"My Father's Axe" - appears in The Oxford Book of Australian Short Stories selected by Michael Wilding and The Penguin Century of Australian Short Stories edited by Carmel Bird.

Jesse 1988
Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo 1990
The Bugalugs Bum Thief 1991
Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster 1993
Lockie Leonard, Legend 1997
The Deep 1998 - illustrated by Karen Louise

Land's Edge 1993 - with Trish Ainslie and Roger Garwood
Local Color: Travels in the Other Australia 1994
Australian Colors: Images of the Outback 1998 - photography and text by Bill Bachman, additional text by Tim Winton
Down to Earth 1999 - text by Tim Winton and photographs by Richard Woldendorp

Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo adapted by Paige Gibbs and performed by the Perth Theatre Company.
That Eye The Sky adapted by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh. The play was reviewed by Jason Romney in the Herald Sun newspaper of October 17, 1994.

Film Adaptations
That Eye The Sky 1995 - adapted from the novel and directed by John Ruane, featured Peter Coyote and Lisa Harrow. The film was reviewed by Amanda Rankin.
In the Winter Dark 1998 - adapted by James Bogle and Peter Rasmussen, directed by James Bogle and featured Brenda Blethyn, Ray Barrett and Miranda Otto.

Critical Appraisals
Tim Winton: A Celebration 1999 - compiled and edited by Hilary McPhee.

Other Web Pages of Interest
The Literary Liaisons website conducted an interview with Tim Winton shortly after the publication of his novel Blueback.
WintonNet, a Tim Winton web page maintained by his publishers.
Scholastic Australia includes an author profile which appears to have been written by Winton.
Students at Trintity College in Western Australia maintain a good Tim Winton website.

Author Contact
You can contact Tim Winton via his agent:

PO Box 413
Toorak VIC 3142
Tel: 61.3.9827.3883
Fax: 61.3.9827.1270

Or visit their website at www.jd-associates.com.au

This page and its contents are copyright © 1995-2007 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: July 15, 2007.