Randolph Stow, winner of the Patrick White Award in 1979, was born in Geraldton, Western Australia in 1935. As an undergraduate he published two novels and a collection of poems. Stow tutored in English at the University of Adelaide, studied Anthropology, worked on a mission in the far north of Western Australia, and as assistant to the Government Anthropologist of Papua New Guinea. Since 1969 he has mainly lived in Suffolk, though he has travelled widely in Europe, North America and Asia. Randolph Stow has received many awards and commendations for his literature, including both the Miles Franklin Award and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for To the Islands.