I'm only telling you this to let you kw what a silly thing it is to live like I do. What it was, I got sacked from my seventeenth job for fighting or gambling-I don't kw which-and because I was hardly ever there. I was gambling all right, but someone called me a cheat and swung at me, I moved my head and swung back and this kid went in to one of the bosses with blood coming out of his mouth saying I was a standover man. The Chantic Bird is the confession of a teenage anarchist, who combines a contempt for contemporary society with a great tenderness and warmth for his younger siblings and for Bee, the girl who looks after them. The first of David Ireland's masterful vels, The Chantic Bird contains the same characteristic indictment of the bovine mindlessness of collective humanity, and the home-owning wage slaves. `It has been my aim to take apart, then build up piece by piece, this mosaic of one kind of human life...to remind my present age of its industrial adolescence.' David Ireland This edition of The Chantic Bird comes with a new introduction by Geordie Williamson.
David Ireland was born in 1927 on a kitchen table in Lakemba in south-western Sydney. He lived in many places and worked at many jobs, including greenskeeper, factory hand, and for an extended period in an oil refinery, before he became a full-time writer. Ireland started out writing poetry and drama but then turned to fiction. His first novel, The Chantic Bird, was published in 1968. In the next decade he published five further novels, three of which won the Miles Franklin Award: The Unknown Industrial Prisoner, The Glass Canoe and A Woman of the Future. David Ireland was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1981. In 1985 he received the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for his novel Archimedes and the Seagull. David Ireland lives in New South Wales.