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David Ireland

Born David Neil Ireland
24 August 1927 (1927-08-24) (age 93)
Lakemba, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Australian
Notable works The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, The Glass Canoe, A Woman of the Future
Notable awards Miles Franklin Award (1971, 1976, 1979)

David Neil Ireland AM (born 24 August 1927) is an Australian novelist.


David Ireland was born in Lakemba in New South Wales in 1927.

Before taking up full-time writing in 1973, he undertook the classic writer's apprenticeship by working in a variety of jobs, ranging from greenskeeper to an extended period in an oil refinery.

This latter job inspired his second (and best-known) novel, The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, which brought him recognition in the early 1970s. It is still considered by many critics to be one of the best and most original Australian novels of the period.

He won the Miles Franklin Award three times (1971, 1976 and 1979). He is one of only four Australian writers to win the Award more than twice; the others are Thea Astley (4) and Tim Winton (4), and Peter Carey (3).

Honours and awards

  • 1966 — winner The Advertiser Literary Competition for The Chantic Bird
  • 1971 — winner Miles Franklin Award for The Unknown Industrial Prisoner
  • 1976 — winner Miles Franklin Award for The Glass Canoe
  • 1979 — winner Miles Franklin Award for A Woman of the Future
  • 1980 — joint winner The Age Book of the Year Award Book of the Year for A Woman of the Future
  • 1985 — winner Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for Archimedes and the Seagle

He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1981.

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