The Life and Work of Gerald Glaskin
By John Burbidge
Read an extract from Dare Me! in Westerly magazine.
'Never heard of Gerry Glaskin? With John Burbidge’s biography, you no longer have any excuses.’ Jeremey Fisher in Australian Book Review. Read more….
Gerald Glaskin (1923–2000) pushed the boundaries of acceptability in what he wrote and how he wrote it. His twenty major publications – novels, short stories, travelogues, memoirs, plays and more – tackled such taboo subjects as homosexuality, incest and parapsychology.
In the aftermath of the Second World War Glaskin challenged white Australians to re-examine their attitudes to Asians and Aboriginal people, and his 1965 novel, No End to the Way, initially banned in his home country, was groundbreaking in its frank and honest portrayal of a homosexual relationship.
Outside Australia, Glaskin’s books were translated into multiple languages and garnered praise from critics and readers alike. He was hailed as ‘the ace of Australian story tellers’. Yet in his home country he was and remains a virtual nonentity.
Why did Australia turn its back on him? Was it his delight in provoking people? Was it his audacious, belligerent and at times overbearing manner? Was he a victim of his country’s ‘tall poppy syndrome’, or of a provincial publishing industry?
This insightful biography probes the life and work of one of Australia’s most neglected writers and in so doing, gives Glaskin his proper due.
Australian-born John Burbidge has lived and worked in Belgium, Canada, India and the United States. For many years, he was Communications Director for the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a non-profit organization engaged in community and organizational development, before becoming an independent writer/editor. His articles on a variety of subjects have appeared in magazines, newspapers, periodicals and books in several countries. The Boatman, his story of coming out as a gay man in India, was published in 2014, and an anthology of travel-inspired stories is in progress. He has edited four volumes, a national newsletter, magazines, book chapters, reports, manuals and theses.
Gerald Glaskin website
John Burbidge has created a dedicated Gerald Glaskin website, as he continues to research the subject of his biography. The site includes a complete list of Glaskin's works, reviews of his work, articles about Glaskin and articles by Glaskin, and so on, and is regularly updated by John as he discovers new resources.
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