Christopher John Koch was born of an Anglican father and of a Catholic mother on July 16th 1932 in Hobart, Tasmania, a birthplace he describes in Crossing the Gap as “a sailors” town; a convict town”. He grew up with his brother Philip in the small suburb of Newtown, and later in Lenah Valley, where his sister Susan was born. Koch’s Anglo-Irish and German lineage has influenced his Australian novels in terms of themes, characters and setting. Peter Carey’s statement that Australians are “historically both oppressors and victims” is clearly illustrated by Koch’s two Irish great-great-grandmothers: one, Jane Devereux, married Captain James Hurburgh whose duty was to pursue convicts who fled Van Dieman’s Land; …
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Vernay, Jean-François. "Christopher John Koch". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 December 2004
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