BRUCE CLAYTON SHAW
Bruce was born in Adelaide, South Australia and studied social anthropology at the University of Western Australia (PhD 1975). He compiled seven books of Aboriginal Australian life histories (a form of oral history). Now out of print, they include: When the dust come in between (1992), Bush time, station time (1991), Countrymen: The life histories of four Aboriginal men as told to Bruce Shaw. (1986), Banggaiyerri: The story of Jack Sullivan (1983), My country of the pelican dreaming (1981). He entered semi-retirement as part-time proofreader for a heritage office.
He is now retired and lives in Perth, Western Australia where he continues to write both nonfiction and, recently, fiction. In the 1990s he took up English studies at the Flinders University in South Australia (PhD 2004), having always wanted to extend his studies in English. Subsequently, he wrote The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2010), published by McFarland & Co., and a second book, Jolly Good Detecting (2014) also published by McFarland.
Back Step is his first work of fiction. It novel is informed by the experience of many years writing non-fiction: in oral history (helpful when forming dialogue), and knowledge of literary techniques – plotting, setting, style, characterisation – learnt through the writing of his two books of criticism. He likes to think of himself as a low-key humourist.