One Of Australia’s Greatest Novelists Christopher Koch Passes Away

by |September 23, 2013

It is with deep sorrow that we share the sad news that Christopher Koch passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning near his home in Tasmania.

A leading Australian literary novelist, Christopher Koch was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to Australian literature in 1995 and was twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award for fiction.

Born and educated in Tasmania, Chris spent most of his life in Sydney where he worked for some years as a radio producer at the ABC. He became a full time novelist in 1972 and is the author of eight novels and two works of non-fiction; most recently Lost Voices, a hauntingly beautiful story about the many legacies of Tasmania’s convict past.

He won the Miles Franklin Award for Fiction twice for The Doubleman and Highways to A War and was also awarded The Age Book of the Year Award and the National Book Council Award for Literature for The Year of Living Dangerously, as well as the Colin Roderick and the Victoria Premier’s Award for Out of IrelandThe Year of Living Dangerously was made into an acclaimed film by Peter Weir.

Christopher is survived by his wife Robin and his family.

Harper Collins Publishing Director Shona Martyn:

“Christopher Koch was one of Australia’s greatest novelists and it was a privilege to publish him and to know him.  He was a man with an exceptional commitment to his writing.  Even during his recent illness he was in constant contact with his editor discussing the finer points of layout and punctuation for an extensive re-release of his impressive backlist on the Fourth Estate list. To me, a particularly special aspect of Chris Koch’s work, was his ability to capture his home state Tasmania, its landscape, its history, its people in novels such his final book Lost Voices and 1999’s Out of Ireland.   His work has made a major contribution to our country’s literature and to the portrayal of Australians. At HarperCollins we will miss him dearly.”

Christopher’s agent for nearly twenty years, Margaret Connolly:

“It was a great pleasure to work with Christopher. He was enormous fun and stayed the same person. What mattered to him always was the work.  I am saddened by the loss of one of Australia’s great writers, and the loss of a wonderful friend.”

Click here to see all titles written by Christopher Koch
with Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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