Final novel, masterclass for Bryce Courtenay

A new Bryce Courtenay novel and writing masterclass have taken special significance after the celebrated author's revelation last week that he may only have months to live.

The South African born Australian made public the news that he is suffering from terminal gastric cancer  in an interview with Channel 9's A Current Affair.

Courtenay told Tracy Grimshaw that his novel Jack of Diamonds – to be released in November this year – will be his last. He also discussed the impact of his prognosis on his own state of mind and that of his family.

The sometimes controversial Courtenay has written 21 books in his impressive career, but when asked what he was most proud of his answer was “having a family.” He also gave some insight into his writing and critics' claims he had not always been straight-forward with the facts of his own life.

“ bet I exaggerate!... I do a Fred Astaire with a fact, but I never ruin a fact... I just give it life.”

The last hands-on masterclass

In this context, the naming of Courtenay's upcoming writing masterclass is particularly poignant. The Last Masterclass is a five day workshop at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, from Friday, September 21 to Tuesday, September 25.

It is described as Courtenay's final hands on workshop where he will respond to the needs and interests of participants as well as cover topics such as creating a fictional character and narrative technique. Click here for registrations

Meanwhile, Courtenay's final book, Jack of Diamonds, will be released on November 12 as a hardback with 720 pages, RRP $45.00. “Set across three continents, Jack of Diamonds is a spellbinding story of chance, music, corruption and love.” Pre-order Jack of Diamonds by clicking below: - Australia's #1 online bookstore

- Josiah Hallett


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