Disturbing Element

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Allen & Unwin, Jan 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 280 pages
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Xavier Herbert considers himself the Disturbing Element in the family he claimed never wanted him. Born in 1901 in Western Australia, Herbert grew up amid confusing and sometimes contradictory family legends.

Often comic, often tragic, Disturbing Element traces Herbert's life as he changes careers from pharmacist to railway fettler to writer. This is the story of an Australian literary legend written in his own classic style.

'He writes with the passion of a great lover and a great hater.' - Manning Clark, Canberra Times
 

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Contents

1 A Coronet and a Ball and Chain
1
2 Iron Horses and Kangaroos
20
3 Oh Molly Riley
46
4 Laggard in Love
57
5 Iodine and Black Velvet
70
6 The Speaking Fish
89
7 Puellae et Pilulae
116
8 Ladibus Cisibus Galiorum
143
9 Dawn of a New Era
171
10 A Girls Best Friend
176
11 Im Doctor Jack
222
12 The Long Long TraiI
269
Back cover
272
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About the author (2012)

Xavier Herbert was one of Australia's leading writers. In 1938 he published his award-winning first novel Capricornia. Herbert's next major work of fiction, Soldiers' Women, was published in 1962. A collection of short stories, Larger Than Life, and Disturbing Element, an autobiography, were both published in 1963. He is perhaps best remembered for his Miles Franklin-winning book Poor Fellow My Country. Published in 1975, this magnificent epic deals with themes of illegitimacy, Australia's postcolonial beginnings and its relationship to Britain, and the terrible treatment and exploitation of the indigenous population.

Known for his insight into, and articulation of, a particularly Australian experience Herbert's writing encompasses complex psychological, historical, social and racial landscapes. He died in 1984.

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