Peter FitzSimons: On Biography

With an ear for story and talent for a good yarn FitzSimons’ particular brand brings stories to life so that we are not merely sitting around the campfire listening to a tale but are in the trenches feeling the fear, deadly bullets so close as to sound like fast moving mosquito.

What did they do and what did they see?

And just as experiential storytelling is method for understanding our subject, can biography ever truly be about one person, these heroes who stand on the shoulders of giants? For, who is Charles Kingsford Smith without Lindbergh or the Wright Brothers? FitzSimons’ portrays the times as well as the life.

In his ANU address Peter will talk about his particular approach to biography, what he looks for in a subject and why he zeroes in on ‘the story’. Why some details matter and some are gratuitous voyeurism. He will touch on the practical application of writing and the approach and tools he uses to prolific effect.

Peter FitzSimons is an author and journalist. He has sold two million books, across thirty titles, including ten biographies. His credits include: Nick Farr-Jones: the authorised biography, 1993; Beazley: a biography, 1998; Nancy Wake: a biography of our greatest war heroine, 2001; John Eales: the biography, 2001; Nene, 2002; Steve Waugh, 2004; The ballad of Les Darcy, 2007; Charles Kingsford Smith and those magnificent men, 2010; Mawson, 2011; Ned Kelly, 2013.

His latest book, Cook and Banks, the Odd Couple, is due for release in October 2019.

* NOTE: The altered time and venue for this out-of-sessions presentation.

Date & time

Thu 11 Apr 2019, 6pm


Lecture Theatre, Australian Centre on China in the World, Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU


Peter FitzSimons

Event series


National Centre of Biography


Nicole McLennan


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