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Kenneth Mackenzie

The Young Desire It - Kenneth Mackenzie
Imprint ISBN 0 207 16284 0
330pp AU$17.95

This masterful and vivid portrayal of a young boy's awakening to true love in the sensual landscape of Western Australia was awarded the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society when first published in 1937.

'The Young Desire It presents the adolescent boy's view with power and poignancy."
The Times
"… amazingly brilliant." Liverpool Daily Post

"… a beautifully written story of a sensitive boy's movement towards adult love."
Sydney Morning Herald

Kenneth Mackenzie was born near the town of Wongan Hills in Western Australia on 25th September 1913. His parents were divorced in 1921 and he lived with his mother in South Perth. His time as a boarder at Guildford Grammar School was the basis for The Young Desire It, which he began writing directly after schooling and was published in London in 1937 under the name Kenneth Seaforth Mackenzie. "My own adolescence was such a matter of rebuffs, insults, physical outrages, and misunderstanding…" he wrote of this period in his life. He married in 1934 and his own family of four lived in pecunious existence in Sydney and Kurrajong, and published two volumes of poetry, Our Earth (1937) and The Moonlit Doorway (1944) and three other novels, Chosen People (1938), Dead Men Rising (1951) and The Refuge (1954). In 1955 he drowned in a creek near Goulburn, while drunk, probably from an epileptic fit. His son Hugh also died suddenly in 2000, drowning while suffering an epileptic fit. A selection of his best work is available in The Model, edited by Richard Rossiter (UWAP 2000).











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