Photos from Alex Miller's personal collection

 

Alex's father with his family

Alex's father, Alexander McPhee Millar, with Kathy, Alex (with his hand to his eye) and Ruth, about 1940

Alex's family at the beach

Alex's family at the beach after Alex had left for Australia. Alexander, Alex's father, Kathy, Ruth, Ross and Winifred, Alex's mother, about 1955

Alex in Queensland, 1953

Alex in Queensland, 1953

Max Blatt with Anne Millar

Max Blatt with Anne Millar, Araluen, New South Wales, about 1971.

After reading one of Alex's pre-novels Max told Alex to 'write about something you love'.

Alex and Anne Neil met in Melbourne and they married in 1961. The marriage failed but Anne remained a close friend to Alex, and to Stephanie, Ross and Kate, until her death from stroke in 2005. Aspects of Anne can be seen in the character of Autumn Laing.

Alex with Ruth Blatt

Alex with Ruth Blatt at the launch of The Tivington Nott at the Brunswick Street Bookstore. Alex had failed to find a publisher for the novel in Australia. It was eventually published by Robert Hale in the UK and distributed here. The book won the Braille Book of the Year award. Alex's first Miles Franklin winning novel, The Ancestor Game is dedicated to Ruth and Max Blatt.

Barrie, Rick and Alex

Alex with the poet Barrett Reid (left) and the artist Rick Amor at the party held at Alex and Stephanie's home to celebrate the publication of The Ancestor Game in 1992. Barnaby, Autumn's friend in Autumn Laing, is a tribute to Barrett Reid and the studio practice of the artist in The Sitters is based on Alex's knowledge of Rick Amor's studio.

Alex with Stephanie

Alex with his wife Stephanie on holiday in Rhodes in 2005. They met in 1975 and have two children Ross (born in 1978) and Kate (born in 1989). Alex says meeting Steph and creating their family made sense of his life.

Kate, Alex, Ross and Erin

Alex with his daughter Kate (born in 1989, and the inspiration for Sabiha's longed for daughter in Lovesong), his son Ross (born in 1978) and Ross' partner Erin Ritchie, 2005. Ross and Erin have two daughters, Amelie and Adrienne.

Alex in the West Country

Alex left his family and the constraints of post-war south London at 15 to go to the west country of England where he worked for two years as a farm labourer. His first novel, The Tivington Nott, is based on his experiences there.

Kate, Col, Frank and Liz

Kate Miller with Col McLennan, Frank Budby and Liz Hatte at the Miles Franklin Award won by Alex for Journey to the Stone Country in 2003. Col, Frank and Liz were the inspirations and models for the central characters in Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell.

Alex in his study

Alex working on the final edits of Autumn Laing, in his study at Castlemaine, June, 2011. The inspiration for the book occurred in London in September 2010. The book was finished in Castlemaine in May 2011.

Liz Hatte

Liz Hatte at the symposium at the University of Sydney. Alex met Liz at Holmesglen College in 1987 when he was writing Watching the Climbers on the Mountain. Liz became the model for Annabelle in Journey to the Stone Country. She established her business, Northern Archaeology Consultancies, in Townsville in the early 1990s.

Alex in 1992

Alex at the offices of The Age in 1993 after winning the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for The Ancestor Game.

Alex in 1953

A portrait of Alex taken in Brisbane in 1954. His boss at the time, Reg Wells, wrote to Alex's family and sent this photo to them.

Alex's first published novel, Watching the Climbers on the Mountain, was inspired by his years with Reg Wells at Goathland's Station in the central highlands of Queensland.

Frank Budby

Frank Budby, Barada Elder at Mount Britton, 2009. Frank is the model for Dougald in Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell.

Col McLennan

Col McLennan, Jangga Elder, Nebo, 1999. The character of Bo in Journey to the Stone Country was drawn from Alex's experience of travelling with Col in his country.

Alex, Anita Heiss, Li Yiao and Kate Miller

Alex with Anita Heiss, Li Yiao and Kate Miller, 2007. The character Vita in Journey to the Stone Country was inspired by Alex's meeting Anita at a conference in Hamburg. Professor Li Yiao has translated many of Alex's novels into Chinese. He is currently working on Lovesong.

Professor Robert Dixon

Professor Robert Dixon with Alex Miller at the symposium, The Novels of Alex Miller, at the University of Sydney, May 13-14, 2011.

On the way to the Stone Country

Inland from Nebo, on the way to the Stone Country.

Alex with Frank Budby

Alex with Frank Budby, Nebo

Lake Elphinstone

Lake Elphinstone, centre of Frank’s Barrada country

   

 

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