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Biography

Bob Ellis is the author of seventeen books, including his latest book Night Thoughts in Time of War, the bestselling Goodbye Jerusalem, Goodbye Babylon and First Abolish the Customer, his books of collected essays, Letters to the Future and So It Goes, and the small satirical classic The Hewson Tapes.

He co-wrote Newsfront (described by some critics after its re-release in 2001 as the best Australian film yet made) and the classic films Fatty Finn, Goodbye Paradise, My First Wife and Man of Flowers. He is the co-author of the musical play The Legend of King O'Malley, the television miniseries The True Believers, the Bathurst Federation play City of the Plains and the recent Ben Chifley play A Local Man.

He wrote and directed the feature films Unfinished Business and The Nostradamus Kid and the documentaries Goodbye Parliament House and Dreaming of Lords; and wrote and appeared in the documentary Bastards from the Bush, about his long friendship with the poet Les Murray. Ellis's work for film and stage has won numerous nominations and awards for writing and direction, including three Premier's Literary Awards.

His essays and articles for HQ, Encore Magazine, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, The Courier-Mail and others have generated both enraged and enthusiastic letters to the editors. In 2002 he was voted Columnist of the Year by the Magazine Publishers Association. His Encore film column and his appearances on The Last Shout and Critical Mass have embellished his genial notoriety.

He has had a long and close involvement with politics, covering as a journalist twenty-four campaigns in Australia, the UK and the USA, and writing speeches or slogans for Kim Beazley, Bob Carr, Mike Rann, Jim Bacon, John Faulkner, Cheryl Kernot, Bob Brown and Mark Latham. In 1994 he stood as an Independent against Bronwyn Bishop, who was then thought likely to lead the Liberal Party, and gained with her political diminishment an enduring, if ambivalent, national reputation.

 


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