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Robert Dessaix


Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature




Congratulations to Robert Dessaix, recipient of the 2022 Australia Council Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature!  

One of Australia’s most-loved writers, Robert is a former Russian scholar and presenter of a national book program on ABC radio.

Best-known for his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace and the novels Night Letters and Corfu, he has also published several essay collections and two travel memoirs, Twilight of Love, which is set in Russia, and Arabesques, his memoir of following in the footsteps of André Gide.   

His books have been translated into many European languages.

An enthusiastic traveller all his life, a translator of Dostoyevsky and Turgenev and a frequent visitor to India, Dessaix now lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

His latest memoir What Days Are For, is a meditation on life, love, friendship and religion in the face of death. His most recent works of literary non-fiction are The Pleasures of Leisure and The Time of Our Lives, a collection of conversations about growing older well.


Meet the other recipients

The 2022 Australia Council Awards will be showcased on this page on 8-12 August 2022. Each of these artists in their own way reflect the vibrancy of Australia’s diverse cultural life.

Learn more