11 de març de 2018

Crime writer Peter Temple dies of cancer, aged 71

[The Weekend Australian, 7 march 2018]

Stephen Romei

The award-winning crime writer Peter Temple, creator of the pugilistic lawyer Jack Irish, has died after a short fight with cancer. He was 71.
Temple, considered the first crime writer to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award, died at his home in Ballarat on Thursday, with his wife Anita and their adult son Nicholas at his side.
South Africa-born Temple, who moved to Australia in 1980, was diagnosed with cancer about six months ago. A private, publicity-shy author, he kept the news within his family.
His unexpected passing puts doubt over the much-anticipated third novel in the series that started with The Broken Shore in 2005 and went on with Truth, which won the Miles in 2010.
It’s understood Temple was working on the third book, tentatively titled The Light on the Hill, but was not happy enough with it to submit a manuscript to his publisher, Melbourne-based Text.
His death also draws a curtain on the loveable rogue Jack Irish. The popular books were made into a television series with Guy Pearce in the title role. As well as boxing, cabinet making and following the AFL, Irish liked to bet on the horses, something he shared with the author.
Temple was a journalist and journalism teacher before he turned to writing full time in the 1990s. He was the first Australian to win the UK-based Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger award, for The Broken Shore. Locally, he was a five-time winner of the Ned Kelly
Award for the best crime novel.
Text publisher Michael Heyward said Temple “was a defining writer for us”. And while Temple was stoic on the surface he was humorous underneath. “He was the funniest person,’’ Heyward said.
Temple’s Miles Franklin win did generate a bit of debate about a “crime novel” winning Australia’s most important prize. When Temple spoke on the matter he put it simply. “As far as I am concerned, I write novels, and other people can do the labelling.’’
Critic and writer Peter Pierce, one of the judges when The Broken Shore won the Colin Roderick Award, said Temple changed the face of crime fiction
“He used crime fiction to produce some of the finest anatomies of Australian society in the last 30 years,’’ he said.
Temple will be particularly mourned in Ballarat. He was a much-liked regular at a cafe near his home, so much so that his books line its walls. He returned to South Africa only a couple of times, and only briefly, after moving to Australia. He hated the apartheid regime.

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