Winner of the 1976 Miles Franklin Literary Award
On hot days we jumped fully clothed into our bottomless beer glasses and pushed off from shore without a backward look. Heading for the deep, where it was calm and cool.
Meat Man is a regular at the Southern Cross pub in Sydney. With his tribe he sits and drinks and watches as life spirals around him. David Ireland’s novel tells his stories, about the pub, its patrons and their women, about the brutal, tender and unexpected places his glass canoe takes him.
‘In a flash of inspired vision David Ireland has perceived that the real centre of Australian life…is the pub…which the novelist demonstrates and enlarges upon with great verve and menace and macabre humour.’
David Ireland was born in 1927 on a kitchen table in Lakemba in south-western Sydney. He 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 Seagull.
David Ireland lives in New South Wales.