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26 April - Ken Morris, author of The Shoes of the Fisherman

Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:26 pm
by Max ADU
Australian Birthday Today

Morris Langlo West AO born 26 April 1916 at St Kilda, Victoria.

Morris was an Australian novelist and playwright, best known for his novels The Devil's Advocate (1959),The Shoes of the Fisherman (1963) and The Clowns of God (1981).

His books were published in 27 languages and sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. After he became an established writer, each new book he wrote sold more than one million copies

West's works were often focused on international politics and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in international affairs.

One of his most famous works,The Shoes of the Fisherman , described the election and career of a Slav as Pope. This was 15 years before the real historic election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II.

The sequel, The Clowns of God, described a successor Pope, who resigned the papacy to live in seclusion. This is what the real Pope Benedict XVI did in 2013.

Writing longhand
West was and attended the Christian Brothers College, St Kilda. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1937 and worked as a teacher in New South Wales and Tasmania.

He spent 12 years with the Christian Brothers order. He took taking annual vows, but left in 1941 without taking final vows.

West wrote with little revision. His first longhand version was usually not very different from the final printed version.

Despite winning many prizes and being awarded honorary doctorates, his commercial success and his skills as a story teller, he never won the acceptance of Australia’s literary clique.

In the 1998 Oxford Literary History of Australia it was stated that:
"Despite his international popularity, West has been surprisingly neglected by Australian literary critics.

Died on the final chapters
West died of a heart attack on 9 October 1999 Clareville, New South Wales at the age of 83.

While working at his desk on the final chapters of his novel The Last Confession. The novel was about the trials and imprisonment of Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600. Bruno was a person with whom West had long sympathised and even identified with.

West was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours of 1985. He was upgraded to Officer of the Order in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1997

Re: 26 April - Ken Morris, author of The Shoes of the Fisherman

Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:05 pm
by Max ADU