As an author, journalist and reviewer, photographer and academic, I've spent my life largely in the creative sphere, helped by great mentors, and I've used that experience to help others in their creativity and education. Albert Camus said, 'We are all special cases,' and that sums up up my outlook: we are all equal, and unique in our ways. Like most writers I'm intrigued by human behaviour. The director Billy Wilder said his classic movie scripts ('Double Indemnity', 'Sunset Boulevard') were based on a profoundly simple question: 'What makes people do the things they do?'
We spend our lives trying to figure that out.
To colleagues and friends I'm Tony Maniaty. On creative works I also use my given name, Anthony Emanuel Maniaty, hence the 'double header' on this site. I'm based in Sydney and, after living and working in Australia, Britain, France and Denmark, and travelling through more than thirty countries, my outlook is global. My father was a Greek refugee from Asia Minor and an immigrant to Australia, my mother's ancestry was Anglo-Saxon, and my sons have Latvian and Irish blood as well.
For me, cultural diversity is what makes life worth living.
I've published four books, with Penguin. (Seeing my first novel with the Penguin logo was a special moment.) The themes of my work arise largely from my family's past (what's the point of having a life if you're not going to write about it?) and my time as a correspondent: exploring the impacts of war and upheaval, displacement and migration. I'm currently working on a cycle of novels about refugees. My blog explores these topics, as well as the cultural spaces I enjoy: cinema, journalism, history, biography, photography, architecture and design, travel, music and - naturally - writing and literature, in all its wonderful forms. The site name, NEOTETTIX, comes from the Ancient Greek word for cicada, τέττιξ.
Awards I've won over the years include the Martin Bequest for Literature, the New South Wales Premier's Writers Award, Senior Fellowships from the Australia Council for the Arts, and the National Short Story of the Year Award. The best thing about awards, apart from any monies involved, is the publicity they generate for literature generally. (And right now, the world badly needs its literatures.) Along the way I've also managed to complete a PhD. My thesis on war correspondents and the psychology of conflict reporting was awarded the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for Excellence.
That makes me a Dottore, I guess.