Xavier Herbert was one of Australia's leading writers. In 1938 he published his award-winning first novel Capricornia. Herbert's next major work of fiction, Soldiers' Women, was published in 1962. A collection of short stories, Larger Than Life, and Disturbing Element, an autobiography, were both published in 1963. He is perhaps best remembered for his Miles Franklin-winning book Poor Fellow My Country. Published in 1975, this magnificent epic deals with themes of illegitimacy, Australia's postcolonial beginnings and its relationship to Britain, and the terrible treatment and exploitation of the indigenous population.
Known for his insight into, and articulation of, a particularly Australian experience Herbert's writing encompasses complex psychological, historical, social and racial landscapes. He died in 1984.