March 10th, 2011

Philip McLaren: an Aboriginal Australian author not to be missed

Philip McLaren is a Kamilaroi man, Aborigine from Australia. As far back as he can remember he has always been an artist and a storyteller.


His first novel, Sweet Water, Stolen Land (University of Queensland Press, 1993; revised edition Magabala Books, 2001), won the David Unaipon Award for Black Literature. A book about land, art, love, lust, religious fervor, massacre and hope. It became an Australian top-ten bestseller and is translated into Japanese.

Scream Black Murder (HarperCollins, 1995; revised edition Magabala Books, 2001), is a crime novel set in the present day on the black streets of Sydney. A serial killer is murdering black women and white Australia doesn't care. It takes on important social issues and was short listed for a Ned Kelly Crime Writers' Award. It has been translated into French.

Lightning Mine (HarperCollins, 1999), is a thriller, set in the present day and concerned with the mining of sacred Aboriginal land.

There’ll be New Dreams (Magabala Books, 2001) has been translated into French and German.


We are glad to announce that Philip McLaren has finished polishing his latest book West of EdenThe Real Man from Snowy River. In Australia there is an iconic poem by A.B. Banjo Paterson that all children learn at school called The Man from Snowy River. Ask any Australian and they will tell you about it, and they will probably recite some for you as well. There was an international feature film based on the poem starring Kirk Douglas also called The Man from Snowy River (here one of the most impressive scenes). The film was followed by a mini-series for television of the same name. It was presumed that ‘The Man’ featured in the poem was a white European and he was presented that way in the film and TV series ... but Philip McLaren was given evidence by a government historian stating that ‘The Man’ was actually based on an Aboriginal Australian.


West of Eden –The Real Man from Snowy River is written in an alternating hybrid