The Miles Franklin award-winning classic 'The thing I am trying to get at is what made Jack different from me. Different all through our lives, I mean, and in a special sense, not just older or nobler or braver or less clever.'
David and Jack Meredith grow up in a patriotic suburban Melbourne household during the First World War, and go on to lead lives that could not be more different.
Through the story of the two brothers, George Johnston created an enduring exploration of two Australian myths: that of the man who loses his soul as he gains worldly success, and that of the tough, honest Aussie battler, whose greatest ambition is to serve his country during the war. Acknowledged as one of the true Australian classics, My Brother Jack is a deeply satisfying, complex and moving literary masterpiece. David Meredith's story continues in the sequels Clean Straw for Nothing and A Cartload of Clay.
About the Author
George Henry Johnston (1912-1970), journalist and author, was born on 20 July 1912 at Caulfield, Melbourne, fourth child of native-born parents John George Johnston, tram repairer, and his wife Minnie Riverina, née Wright. George attended Brighton Technical School from 1922 and gained the Intermediate certificate before being apprenticed to a lithographer with the art printers, Troedel & Cooper Pty Ltd.
He took art classes at the National Gallery schools, and spent much time on his boyhood hobby of drawing, painting and reading about classic sailing ships. At the age of 16 he had an article on local shipwrecks accepted by the Argus. In 1933 he was taken onto that paper as a cadet reporter, with responsibility for the shipping round. At St Mary's Anglican Church, Caulfield, on 19 March 1938 he married Elsie Esme Taylor, a cashier; they had a daughter Gae (b.1941).
'Enthralling ... entertaining ... vividly original' The Age