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  • David MetzenthenAuthor–Australia

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David Metzenthen (1958) lives in and loves Melbourne, where he was born. After completing his schooling in Australia, Metzenthen travelled to New Zealand, where he worked in a range of jobs including gardener, grave-digger, and hotel porter. On his return to Australia, he worked as a copywriter for Radio 3DB, for Grundy Television, and for Myer. While at Grundy Television, Metzenthen wrote a short story which was published in The Australian. Since then, he has been writing full-time. His first novel, Danger Wave, was published in 1990.

Metzenthen's carefully honed writing style is combined with an ability to capture moments of his characters' lives with deeply-felt and evocative insight. He is a masterful writer of fiction for older readers and has published eighteen novels, one award-winning picturebook, and numerous works for younger readers (including titles in Penguin's Aussie Nibbles, Aussie Bites, and Aussie Chomps series. His works often deal with sport, and he is particularly finely attuned to exploring young male emotions. Both his father and grandfather served in the Australian Defence Forces, fostering his great interest in the role Australians have played in armed conflict. The award-winning Boys of Blood and Bone (2003) was republished as an Anzac Centenary Edition (2014) with his Preface. Dreaming the Enemy (2016) is about the Vietnam War:

I wanted strongly to present something of what young Australians went through in this war, at the orders of their Government, and the great toll it took on them, their families, friends, and futures ... I hope to have shown what happens to people, that what we do or is done to us, stays with us for a long time and must be met with compassion and understanding. The idea that I could do this through my work is a humbling and beautiful aspect of what it means to write. It also confers a responsibility on me to give my utmost to the novel, with the aim of giving to others something worth reading and thinking about.

Metzenthen enjoys surfing and fly-fishing and is a keen environmentalist; the natural world is where he likes to spend his time. He is married to Fiona and has two children.

Metzenthen is a writer of immense integrity and peerless elegance. His work has been described variously as profound, laconic, vividly realized, finely crafted, and empathetic. He is a writer whose passionate interests are honestly explored in works of gravitas and profundity.

David Metzenthen is one of Australia's foremost writers of fiction for young people. [End Page 9]



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