An affectionate new website for writer D’Arcy Niland, author of The Shiralee, is here…
Ruth Park: When D’Arcy Niland died suddenly in 1967, it seemed not so much that he’d left this life, but that he’d rushed off to another, full of optimism and good humour, certain that there’d be a thousand more stories to find and write.
For he was a great man for a walkabout and must have spent a good fifth of his life with a swag up, hitching rides, hopping freight trains, camping anywhere he could get a job or a feed.
After he married, it was his custom to fire telegrams back to his home — from Port Augusta, "Missing you like billy-O" and, a day later from Pimba, "Got over it."
Very Irish in looks and temperament, he was Australian to his bones, loving not only the vast pastoral lands and the stony deserts but the little peppertree towns that were, so often, the locale of his short stories.