tony maniaty / ANTHONY EMANUEL MANIATY
As an author, journalist and photographer, academic and reviewer, I've spent my life largely in the creative sphere, helped by great mentors, and I've used that experience to help others with their creativity. Albert Camus said, 'We are all special cases', and that's my outlook: we're all equal, yet unique in our ways. Like most writers I'm intrigued by human behaviour. The great Hollywood film director Billy Wilder noted his classic movie scripts ('Ace in the Hole', '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.
I also use my full name Anthony Emanuel Maniaty in some creative endeavors. I'm based in Sydney and, after living and working in Australia, Britain, France, Greece and Denmark, and travelling through more than thirty countries, my outlook is decidely global. My father was a Greek refugee from Asia Minor and an immigrant to Australia, my mother's ancestry was Anglo-Saxon, and my two sons have Latvian and Irish blood as well. My partner Galina Lazareva is an award-winning Russian poet and translator.
For me, cultural diversity and sharing my experience and knowledge with others 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 experience (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 and biography, photography, architecture and design, travel, music and - naturally - writing and literature, in all its wonderful forms.
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 the written memoirs and psychology of war correspondents was awarded the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor's Commendation for Excellence.