Australian novelist, born in Perth, Western Australia, whose towns and landscapes became the background for much of his work. An acclaimed writer for and about children, his adult books also concern emotional pressures amidst family life and the natural world. Shallows (1984) is set in the last whaling town in Australia, and the parable‐like Blueback (1997) tells of a mother and son's struggle to save their bay from developers. His best‐known novels are the family saga Cloudstreet (1991); The Riders (1994), in which a father and daughter desperately travel around Europe; and Dirt Music (2001), centring on an older woman's affair with a troubled drifter. The Turning (2005) is a collection of stories.