Rodney Hall is one of our foremost authors. He left school at sixteen for family reasons, already determined to become a writer and to educate himself by experience. Two years later he was called up for National Service. Afterwards, when the opportunity arose, he sailed from Brisbane to Genoa and set out, with GBP112 in his pocket, to walk around Europe. He was thirty-one when he enrolled at university and his formative literary influences-quite at odds with those of his contemporaries-were already set. He studied Old English and the cultural history of India while supporting himself as an ABC radio actor and scriptwriter. Since then he has won two Miles Franklin Awards, his novels have been widely published and translated into many languages, and he has been twice presented with the gold medal of the Australian Literature Society.