Collection UQFL163 - David Malouf Papers

Identity area

Reference code



David Malouf Papers


  • 1963-2001. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6 boxes.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

David Malouf AO, internationally renowned Australian author, was born in South Brisbane in 1934 and is of Lebanese Maronite Catholic, Portuguese Sephardic Jewish and English heritage. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and graduated from the University of Queensland in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduation, he lived in Europe for nearly ten years (1959 – 1968) and worked as a teacher in London and Birkenhead. He returned to Australia in 1968 and lectured in English at Sydney University from 1968 to 1977. In 1991 he was made Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of Queensland, having previously been given an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Sydney in 1988. He has spent much of his career as a professional writer splitting his time between Australia and Italy.
His novels include Johnno (1975), An imaginary life (1978), Remembering Babylon (1993) and Ransom (2009). He has also written several volumes of award-winning poetry and short stories as well as regularly contributing to the national and international press.

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, 1969-2001
Collection alternatively titled as: David Malouf Collection

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Contains corrected manuscript and typescript drafts of 'Child's Play', 'Fly Away Peter', 'An Imaginary Life', 'Johnno', 'Remembering Babylon', 'Harland's Half Acre', 'Antipodes', 'Bicycle and Other Poems', '12 Edmondstone Street', 'The Great World', 'Eustace' and 'The Prowler'. Also notes by Malouf re: development of drafts for 'Child's Play', 'Fly Away Peter' and 'The Great World'; correspondence from George Braziller (publisher) re: 'An Imaginary Life'; correspondence between David Malouf and Yvonne Smith re: 'An Imaginary Life'; 'Voss' (an opera in two acts based on a novel by Patrick White); '10,000 Miles Away' (a performance commissioned for Cook Bicentenary Year); 'Invocation to Earth' (an opera libretto based on an episode in the life of Mary Gilmore); and correspondence and notes re: 'Voss'.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

BOX 1 : Series A: 'Child's Play'. Series B: 'Fly Away Peter'. Series C: 'An Imaginary Life'.
BOX 2 : Series D: Correspondence between David Malouf and Yvonne Smith re: 'An Imaginary Life'. Series E: 'Johnno'.
BOX 3 : Series F: 'Remembering Babylon'.
BOX 4 : Series G: 'Harland's Half Acre'. Series H: 'Antipodes'.
BOX 5 : Series I: 'Voss'. Series J: 'Bicycle and Other Poems'. Series K: '12 Edmondstone Street'.
BOX 6: Series L: 'The Great World'. Series M: 'Eustace' and 'The Prowler'. Series N: Other Material ('10,000 Miles Away' and 'Invocation to Earth'.)

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright applies.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Publication note

Materials subsequently published as novels, novellas and poetry collections, including:
Malouf, D. (1975). Johnno. St. Lucia : University of Queensland Press
Malouf, D. (1978). An Imaginary Life. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1982). Fly Away Peter. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1981). Child's play. The bread of time to come : two novellas. New York: George Braziller.
Malouf, D. (1999). Child's play with Eustace and The prowler. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1984). Harland's Half Acre. New York : Knopf
Malouf, D. (1990). The Great World. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1993). Remembering Babylon. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1985). Antipodes : stories. London: Chatto & Windus.
Malouf, D. (1970). Bicycle and Other Poems. St. Lucia : University of Queensland Press
Malouf, D. (1985). 12 Edmondstone Street. London: Chatto & Windus.

Publication note

Liberetto for operas:
Voss (1986) - with Richard Meale (composer). Performed at the Sydney Opera House in 1987 with Australian Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and recorded by ABC. Recording available via the National Film and Sound Archive.
Invocation to Earth (1973) - with Dianne Blom (composer).

Publication note

Material from this collection has been cited in:
Christina Spittel (2014). Nostalgia for the Nation: The First World War in Australian Novels of the 1970s and 1980s. The Great War in Post-Memory Literature and Film (pp. 255--272).
Hamilton, V.M. 2001 , 'Aspects of metamorphosis in the fiction of David Malouf', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.
Smith, Yvonne. In the Beginning: David Malouf's An Imaginary Life. Australian Literary Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, Oct 2005: 160-174.
Smith, Yvonne Joy. Brightness Under Our Shoes: the Redress of the Poetic Imagination in the Poetry and Prose of David Malouf, 1960-1982. PhD Thesis. University of Sydney. School of Letters, Art and Media, Department of English.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Millennium Local System Number


OCLC Number

1096560378 ; 222653397

Libraries Australia ID

62993010 ; 21259655

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area