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Professor Nicholas Jose

Telephone +61 8 8313 4561
Position Professor of English and Creative Writing
Building Napier Building
Floor/Room 6 04
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit English and Creative Writing

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Biography/ Background

Nicholas Jose is a novelist, essayist and playwright, whose thirteen books include the novels Paper Nautilus, Avenue of Eternal Peace (shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award), The Custodians (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize) and Original Face; two short story collections; a volume of essays, Chinese Whispers; and the memoir Black Sheep. After gaining his doctorate at Oxford University, he taught in the Department of English at the ANU 1978-1985. His monograph Ideas of the Restoration in English Literature was published in 1984.

Professor Jose taught in China 1986-87, and served as Cultural Counsellor in the Australian Embassy Beijing 1987-1990. A full-time writer from 1991, he resumed his academic career as Chair of Creative Writing at Adelaide University in 2005. A past president of International PEN Sydney, he is general editor of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (also published as The Literature of Australia). He was Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University 2009-2010 and taught there again in 2011. He is Adjunct Professor with the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney, Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and Professor of English and Creative Writing in the School of Humanities at The University of Adelaide.



Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University, 1978

Bachelor of Arts (1st class honours) and University Medal, Australian National University, 1973



Research Interests

His research interests include new writing from Australia and the Asia-Pacific; Australian literature; literary translation; contemporary art; China; and creative practice.





Bapo, (short stories, Giramondo Publishing, 2014). 231 pp.

ISBN 9781922146632

The Literature of Australia: an anthology, general editor, Norton 2009. Introduction pp 1-8.

ISBN 978-0-393-07261-7

Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, general editor, Nicholas Jose, Allen & Unwin 2009. Introduction pp.1-8.

ISBN 978-1-7417-5440-7

  Winner, Special Award, 2010 NSW Premier's Literary Awards

  Winner, Tertiary Scholarly Reference category, Australian Educational Publishing Awards 2010

  Shortlisted, General Non-fiction Book of the Year, 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards

Contemporary Art + Philanthropy: Private Foundations Asia-Pacific Focus, editor, Power Publications, UNSW Press 2009. Introduction pp 1-15.

ISBN 978-0-9577-3823-2

Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, edited by Anita Heiss and Peter Minter, as general editor, Allen & Unwin 2008

ISBN 978-0-7735-3459-9

   Winner, The Deadly Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Literature, 2008

Avenue of Eternal Peace (novel, Wakefield Press, new edition with postscript, 2008, 279 pp.; Penguin (Aus), Dutton (US), 1989)

ISBN 978-1-86254-799-5

  Shortlisted, Miles Franklin Literary Award. Filmed for television as Children of the Dragon.

Original Face (novel, Giramondo Publishing 2005) 307 pp.

ISBN 1 902882 13 8

Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola (memoir, Allen & Unwin (Aus); Profile UK/Hardie Grant 2002)

  Shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year 2003 (non fiction)

ISBN 9781743430521

The Red Thread (novel, Chronicle (US), Faber (UK), Hardie Grant (Aus), 2000)

ISBN 9781740640138

  Published in Portuguese, Greek and Chinese translations.

The Custodians (novel, Allen & Unwin (Aus), Picador (Aus & UK), St Martins Press (US), 1997)

ISBN 9781742699868

  Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 1997 (South-East Asia)

  Published in Chinese translation.

Chinese Whispers: cultural essays (non-fiction, Wakefield Press (Aus, 1995)

ISBN 9781862543362

The Rose Crossing (novel, Overlook Press (US), Penguin (Aus), Hamish Hamilton (UK), 1994)

ISBN 9780879517977

  Translations published in French, German and Chinese

Paper Nautilus (novel, Wakefield Press (Aus); Penguin (Aus), 1987

ISBN 9781862547339

  Published in Chinese translation (Taiwan)

Feathers or Lead (short stories, Penguin (Aus), 1986)

ISBN 0140088512

Rowena's Field (novel, Rigby (Aus), 1984)


The Possession of Amber (short stories, UQP (Aus), 1980)

ISBN 0702215376

Ideas of the Restoration in English Literature (monograph, Harvard University Press (US), Macmillan (UK), 1984)

ISBN 0674442768


Selected essays and reviews, 1997 -

"Coetzee in China", Texas Studies in Literature and Language Special issue, Winter 2016. Forthcoming.

"Sneak Preview", A Brief Take on the Australian Novel by Jean-François Vernay (Wakefield Press, 2016), xi-xv.

"Translation Plus: On Literary Translation and Creative Writing." The AALITRA Review: A Journal of Literary Translation, 10 (Melbourne: Monash University, May 2015):5-17

"Creative Writing in China", The China Story Journal, 1 February 2015,

"Foreword", My Travelling Life by Neilma Sidney (Oryx Publishing, 2015), vii-x.

"In Hot Water", Sydney Review of Books, 07/11/2014

"J. M. Coetzee, R. G. Howarth, South to South", New Scholar, Vol 3, No 2 (2014)

"Metamorphic Malouf", Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, North America, 14 7 05 2014.

"Damage Control: Australian Literature as Translation", Literature as Translation/Translation as LIterature, ed. C Conti and J Gourley, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, 1-15.

"Geoffrey Dutton: Little Adelaide and New York Nowhere", Adelaide: A Literary City (Adelaide University Press, 2013), 183-96.

"Writing Asian Poetry in English in Australia", Mascara Literary Review, 13, June 2013.

"Outpost Thinking", Sydney Review of Books, 02/04/2013

"Cheeky", Scenes of Reading, eds. Brigid Rooney and Robert Dixon, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013, pp. 189-96.

"'Our Kind of Country': Writing Australia from New Mexico", Magnificent Obsessions: Honouring the Lives of Hazel Rowley, ed. Rosemary Lloyd and Jean Fornasiero, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

"Deconstructing the dumpling: Australia, China, lived connections", Journal of Australian Studies, 37:1, 116-129

‘1989: Forces of justice:The year the dragon came', Telling Stories: Australian Literary Cultures, 1935-2012, ed. Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziel, Monash University Press. 2013, pp.444-51.

"Foreword", A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature, ed. Belinda Wheeler, Camden House, 2013, pp. viii-xii.

"Auto da fé", Sydney Review of Books, 29/01/2013

"Aporetic Australia in The White Tiger, The Boat and The Hamilton Case". Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, North America, 1215 08 2012.

"Everyday and Exotic: Australian Asian Writing", The Long View, The Wheeler Centre, June 2012.

"Damage Control: Australian Literature as Translation" Westerly, 57: 1 July 2012, pp.102-20.

"Contemporary Approaches to Literature", Window and Bridge III (Writers' Publishing House, Beijing, 2012), pp.161-65. (In Chinese.)

Sara Dowse, Subhash Jaireth and Nicholas Jose, "Cold Light", Meanjin May 2012.

"Visitants: Randolph Stow's End Time Novel", Transnational Literature, 3:1 May 2011.

"The man and his thoughts", Australian Literary Review, 5 October 2011.

"At the Limit of Literature": review of The Cambridge History of Australian Literature ed. Peter Pierce, Modernism/modernity 17: 4, November 2010.

"Through the Iron Bars": review of Lu Xun, The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun, translated by Julia Lovell, Australian Literary Review, November 2010, p.14.

 "Mulberry Australis", Peter Emmett and Tony Kanellos, eds., The Museum of Economic Botany (Adelaide Botanic Garden, 2010), pp. 162-64.

"Who'll come a-morphing", Australian Literary Review, August 2009, p.14.

"All Our Own Work", The Weekend Australian 25 July 2009, Review p.10.

"Earthy Expose of China's Cowboy Capitalism", review of Yu Hua, Brothers, The Weekend Australian 26 June 2009, Review p.10.

"Australian Literature Inside and Out", Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol 9 Special Issue, 2009, pp.1-13

"I had written him a letter", Essentially Creative, Griffith Review Edition 23, 2008.

"Recovering Australian Literature", NSW History Awards Address 2008, SMH October 28, 2008

"Penumbra: Contemporary Art from Taiwan", Art Monthly May 2008

"Back to the Avantgarde", In the Neighbourhood, Griffith Review, Edition 18, 2007

"There's this world too: Nicolas Rothwell, Another Country", Australian Book Review, March 2007, 16-17.

"Go West", The Age, December 16, 2006, A2, 16-17.

"Writers in Prison", Wet Ink, 4: 2006, 20-21.

"Adam Aitken", Dictionary of Literary Biography, Australian Writers: 1975-2000, Gale, 2006.

"A Shelf of Our Own: Creative Writing and Australian Literature", Australian Book Review, November 2005, 25-29.

"Oh, great river: Yo Yo, Ghost Tide", Australian Book Review, September 2005, 56.

"Jumping Puddles", Australian Author, August 2005, pp. 8-11.

"Talking English : Tony Roberts, Frontier Justice", Australian Book Review, April 2005, 14-15.

"Memoir: Tiananmen, Liu Xiaobo and PEN", The Quarterly, Sydney PEN Centre, March 2005, 28-31.

"Bliss and Damnation: Peter Carey in Australia", in Fabulating Beauty: Perspectives on the Fiction of Peter Carey, ed. Andreas Gaile, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2005.

"Ouyang Yu, New and Selected Poems", Life Writing, 3, 2005.

"The Compliment Men", Best Australian Essays 2004, ed. Robert Dessaix, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2004, 217-232.

"Going, going, Guan", on Guan Wei, Weekend Australian, September 18-19 2004, Arts, R18-19.

"Pammie's Queen of Puddings", Mumma's Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, ed. Helen Addison-Smith & George Papaellinas, ABC Books, Sydney 2004, 114-121.

"The Mungo Excursion", Vintage: Celebrating Ten Years of the Mildura Writers' Festival, ed. Donata Carrazza & Paul Kane, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2004, 25-37.

"The Writing's on the Wall", Financial Times, 14-15 February 2004, Weekend 5.

"The Compliment Men", Meanjin, 4/2003, 7-20.

"Necklace of Pearl: Henry Reynolds, North of Capricorn", Australian Book Review, November 2003, 11-12.

"Compost and Pollination", Translations, Southerly, 1/2003, 9-23

"Giving Voice", David Malouf: A Celebration, National Library of Australia, 2001, pp.21-28.

"My Federation: 1 January 2001" Postwest, No. 18, 2001

"Fairweather's Ghost", Postwest, no. 16, 2000

"Australia in Time", Reaching the World, Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Sydney, 1999

"On Reticence", HEAT 5, 1997


Selected Catalogue Essays and Art Writing

"Ah Xian", Dark Heart, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2014.


"Angela and Hossein Valamanesh", Heartland, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2013.

"Stewart MacFarlane", Heartland, Art Gallery of South Australia, 2013.

"On the Way", Stewart MacFarlane: paintings, Wei-Ling Gallery, Kuala Lumpur 2012, pp.13-26.

"My China Project", The China Project, Queensland Art Gallery 2009.

"Citizens of the World", Writing the Painting, University of South Australia, March 2006.

"The Sinking Ship", Interesting Times, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, September 2005.


Selected Recent Short Fiction

"What Love Tells Me", Chinese translation by Li Yao, World Literature, 2012.6, 77-88.

"What Love Tells Me", The Best Australian Stories, edited by Cate Kennedy, Black Inc., 2011, pp.180-88.

"What Love Tells Me", HEAT 24, New series, 2010, pp.171-79.

"The Aunt's Garden's Story", Small City Tales of Strangeness and Beauty ed. Gillian Britton and Stephen Lawrence, Wakefield Press, 2009, pp.85-87.

"After the Show", New Australian Stories, edited by Aviva Tuffield, Scribe 2008, pp.183-88.

"Emeritus Professor Wally Frith addresses a ceremony at Peking Union Medical College (Beijing, 2008)", Asian Literary Review (Summer, 2008 No.8), pp.213-17.

"The Disappearing Book", Biblio: A Review of Books (India) vol.xiii, nos.9 & 10, Sept-Oct 2008.

"George", The Review of Contemporary Fiction Fall 2007, vol. xxvii, no.3, pp.206-09.

"Diamond Dog", Meanjin, vol.57, no.3 (1998), Japanese translation published in Diamond Dog: Contemporary Australian Short Stories  (Shuei Sha, 2008), pp.1-25; from Subaru Monthly, June 2006, 232-42; Serbian translation published in Serbian Translation of Contemporary Australian Fiction (Agora 2012), pp.191-202;



The Finish Line: A Long march by Bicycle through China and Australia, by Sang Ye with Nicholas Jose and Sue Trevaskes (non-fiction, UQP (Aus), 1994)

ISBN 0702226548



Entry last updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016

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