Peter Corris has died in Sydney at the age of 76. Everyone at ACWA is deeply saddened at the news.
Peter was a friend and mentor to many in the Australian Crime Writing community and a trailblazer for all. He was fiercely of the view that Australians wanted and deserved to read their own stories, populated by their own particular types of characters, set in their own mean (albeit sunnier) streets. Australia had its own crims, its own PIs and its own way of doing things and Peter reflected that in his crime fiction. He wrote about our lives, our characters, our places and our psyches.
Cliff Hardy, Peter’s most famous creation, was a man's man that women adored, and there was a touch of that about his creator. Acerbic, with a twinkle in his eye, Peter was always a generous talker at gatherings, a keen observer and chronicler of people and situations, quiet and dry witted, and a wonderful person to spend time with.
Over the years Peter's books were nominated for 6 Ned Kelly Awards and shortlisted twice. In 1999 Peter was awarded the Ned Kelly Award for Lifetime Achievement and he went on to win the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction in 2009.
In 2017, after he retired from long-form writing due to ill health, the ACWA was keen to mark a career that meant much to all of us (writers and readers alike). To that end we were proud to acknowledge Peter's contribution at the 2017 Ned Kelly Awards. The video of our then chair Michael Robotham's speech about Peter and his work can be viewed here:
Michael's words echo much of what we are all thinking today as our thoughts and love go out to Peter's wife Jean Bedford, their daughters Sofya, Miriam and Ruth, his much loved grandchildren, extended family, friends and colleagues.