‘Nothing propinks like propinquity’
- Ian Fleming, Diamonds Are Forever
As a child, I formed the idea that growing up in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton must be a kind of spiritual exercise - probably a preparation for death. So I pumped out a long line of poems on that subject:
I saw a bird on a ferny track,
Colours, green, red, on its back.
But when she flew my bird was black.
With black adolescence behind me, I took up fiction. I got my break in 1986 when my manuscript, Propinquity, won the Adelaide Festival Award.
By then I'd become interested in health, psychology, Australian politics, and the dictatorships to our north - so I let Propinquity open the door to journalism. This enabled me not only to review fiction, and educate myself in the science of health and the psyche; but to go to Florida and confront the FBI, to observe oppression in East Timor, and the slave trade in Burma - and to get into the New York Times.
The education was worth a dozen degrees, and allowed me to retain the intellectual independence a degree can rob you of.
Along the way I interviewed many interesting people. Few of the big names held a candle to the activists, who'd usually put everything on the line to make a better world.
Propinquity's release as an e-book feels like a circle fully turned.
The categories on the left will take you down these various roads.