Patsy Adam-Smith

Patricia Jean (Patsy) Adam-Smith AO, OBE (19242001), author of 33 books, grew up in Victorian country towns, was a radio officer in merchant ships, and worked in Hobart for the Adult Education Office, 196067. Here she began writing, publishing a volume of autobiography, Hear the train blow (1964), then a series of books about Tasmania: Moonbird people (1965) on the Aborigines of the Bass Strait Islands; Tiger country (1968); and, working with major artists like Max Angus, her 'sketchbooks' of Hobart, Tasmania, Port Arthur, Launceston and 'Historic Tasmania' (196877), as well as Islands of Bass Strait (1978). Returning to Victoria in 1970, she became one of Australia's most popular writers, bestsellers being The Anzacs (1978), Australian women at war (1984) and Prisoners of war (1992).

Further reading: P Adam-Smith, Hear the train blow, Sydney, 1964; and Goodbye girlie, Melbourne, 1994.

Alison Alexander