Portrait of Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse is the award-wining author of several works of fiction and non-fiction, and is especially celebrated for his ‘Edith trilogy’: Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light.

Moorhouse began his writing career as a cadet journalist on the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Later he worked on several country newspapers and became editor of the Australian Worker in 1963. His involvement in the politics of journalism and writing led to terms as a union organiser for the Workers Education Association and the Australian Journalists Association. Moorhouse was also president of the Australian Society of Authors (1981-1983) and was involved in the efforts of writers to protect their copyright against large-scale photocopying.

Particularly early in his career, Moorhouse was known for his use of the ‘discontinuous narrative’, an innovative narrative method using interconnected stories. In the 1960s and 70s, he was identified as a ‘Balmain writer’, one of a group of politically radical and sexually experimental writers, whose influences included the ‘Sydney Libertarianism’ of John Anderson.

Many of Moorhouse’s early works were set in ‘le ghetto Balmain’, particularly The Americans Baby (1972), which established him as a leading short fiction writer. Balmain was also the subject of much of his anthology, Days of Wine and Rage (1980).

His books have been translated into French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Serbian, Swedish, Polish and Spanish.