James McQueen

James Stuart (Jim) McQueen (193498), author, began writing full-time in 1977. Author of five novels, four children's novels, six short-story collections, and non-fiction, McQueen is a dark-humoured realist whose dysfunctional characters seek action or escape through alcoholism ('A just equinox', in The electric beach, (1978), incest and suicide. McQueen's thematic interest includes the examination of power and destruction as enacted in war, and within the environment (the 'war' on nature). White light (1990) reveals war's ambivalence, with its central character occupying a moral grey-zone, as do characters in Hook's mountain (1982), a performative novel concerned with war and clear-felling in Tasmania. Non-fiction work concerning power includes The Franklin: not just a river (1983), and 'Orchids an index of forest destruction', an article warning of 'war and pestilence' if despoliation is not halted.

Further reading: V Brady, 'Strange shapes and presences', Island Magazine 16, 1983.

CA Cranston