MS 5614 comprises manuscripts of David Malouf's novel Johnno. The early versions in the collection, written in 1967 and 1970-1971, handwritten and extensively altered, are very different from the final work, with different characters. Also included is a handwritten and typescript version written in Florence in 1972, and a typescript prepared for the typist in April-May 1974. The latter is close to the published version, but with many handwritten alterations. The collection also comprises the typescript "Letter from Pontus", the first typed copy made from the original manuscript of An imaginary life by Christopher Edwards in February 1977 (1 box).
Poet and novelist. George Joseph David Malouf was born in Brisbane in 1943 of English and Lebanese parentage. He graduated from the University of Queensland and left for England in 1958 to teach English. In 1968, he returned to Australia to teach English at the University of Sydney, leaving in 1978 to become a full-time writer and living for six months each year in Tuscany. Originally known as a poet, he began publishing novels and plays, including Johnno (1975), An imaginery life (1979), Antipodes (1985), 12 Edmondson Street (1985), Blood relations (1987), The great world (1991), Remembering Babylon (1993), and Conversations at Curlow Creek (1996). He also wrote a libretto on Patrick White's Voss, set to music by Richard Meale.
Malouf has won major awards in Australia and overseas, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1991 for The great world; Prix Femina Etranger in 1991 for The great world (French translation); Gold Medal of the Australian Literary Society in 1974 for Neighbours in a thicket, and, in 1983 for his novellas Fly away Peter and Child's play; and, the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1990 for The great world. In 1993, Remembering Babylon was short listed for the Booker Prize; in 1996, Malouf won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Remembering Babylon, and in 2000 he won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.