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'Andrew Fabinyi – A memoir' by John Hooker

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February–March 1983, no. 48

'Andrew Fabinyi – A memoir' by John Hooker

by
February–March 1983, no. 48

[Ed.: The renewal of Australian publishing after World War II was in no small part due to the efforts of one man, Andrew Fabinyi, Publishing Director of the Melbourne firm of F.W. Cheshire. His personal interests in ideas and his commitment to Australia were demonstrated in his publishing program as a whole and in such titles as Peter Coleman’s Australian Civilization, in which a number of writers investigate the reality and prospects of Australian society. The successor firm to F.W. Cheshire, Longman Cheshire, later this year are commemorating Fabinyi’s service to Australian life and publishing by issuing A Nation Apart, which takes a similar look at Australia today. John Hooker worked with Fabinyi, and this memoir, published by permission of Longman Cheshire, comes from A Nation Apart.]

 

I first met Fabinyi in November, 1963 – he had offered me an editorial job sight-unseen at F.W. Cheshire while I was living in London. On my first day in the basement in Little Collins Street, Melbourne, I shook hands formally with a handsome, greying man in his early fifties with a slight stoop and a thick European accent. Within a week or two of my arrival, my new acquaintances warned me about him: he was ambitious, and he was circuitous. Then followed the tired, old (and to me, offensive) joke about the Hungarian in the revolving door. I shall comment on these accusations later.

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