David Ireland was born in 1927 on a kitchen table in Lakemba in south-western Sydney. He has lived in many places and worked at many jobs, including greenskeeper, factory hand, and for an extended period in an oil refinery, before he became a full-time writer.
Ireland started out writing poetry and drama but then turned to fiction. His first novel, The Chantic Bird, was published in 1968. In the next decade he published five further novels, three of which won the Miles Franklin Award: The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, The Glass Canoe and A Woman of the Future.
David Ireland was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1981. In 1985 he received the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for his novel Archimedes and the Seagle.
Nicolas Rothwell is the author of Heaven and Earth, Wings of the Kite-Hawk, Journeys to the Interior and The Red Highway. He is the northern correspondent for the Australian. His new novel, Belomor, will be published by Text in 2013.