Thursday, 7 October 2010

Who is T.A.G. Hungerford?

Thomas Arthur Guy Hungerford was born in 1915 and grew up in South Perth, Western Australia. He began writing in his late teens and his first published short story appeared in 1942 in the Sydney Bulletin. Hungerford served as a soldier in World War II before travelling to Japan with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force after the war.

On returning to Australia, Hungerford worked as a press secretary for former prime minister Billy Hughes. He then joined the Australia News and Information Bureau, and afterwards became a freelancer. He worked as a press secretary to Western Australian premiers John Tonkin and Sir Charles Court. He began to write after moving to Canberra in 1948, where he worked for the Australian War Memorial.

Hungerford is the author of four major novels. The first of these,
The Ridge and the River, is probably his best known. It draws on his personal experiences as a Troop Sergeant MID in the 2/8 Australian Commando Squadron in New Guinea, and other islands north of Australia, during World War II. He is also the author of several plays and numerous poems, and is particularly known for his short stories.

T.A.G. Hungerford received many awards, including:

Winner, Crouch Gold Medal for Literature, 1951
The West Australian Short Story Competition, 1952
Winner, Patricia Hackett Short Story prize, 1962
AIDA Science Educational Medal, 1963
Winner, WA Weekly Literature Prize for Fiction, 1964
Order of Australia for services to Australian Literature, 1987
Inaugural Honorary Fellow, National Museum of Australia, 1994
Winner, Patrick White Award, 2002
Special Recognition Medallion, National Museum of Australia, 2003
Winner, Fremantle and East Fremantle Local History Award, 2004, 2007

Hungerford’s three volumes of highly-acclaimed, bestselling autobiographical short stories have been brought together in
Straight Shooter, available from Fremantle Press.

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