1940- Born in the UK, Stephen Knight came to Australia when he was appointed Teaching Fellow at the University of Sydney in 1963, then lecturer in English the following the year. He went on to hold senior positions at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, before returning to England in 1992 to take up a chair at De Montford University, Leicester. As well as numerous scholarly works in the area of medieval English literature, Knight's long held interest in crime fiction led him to him editing several anthologies of Australian crime stories. He was awarded the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Now, for the first time, Australian crime fiction's lurid and elusive past is exposed. Over nearly two hundred years, hundreds of authors and thousands of stories have created a unique national crime fiction.
No other country's writers are so likely to sympathise with the criminals, or find the police a thoroughly threatening presence. Stephen Knight's unique and sophisticated study shows that this fiction explores criminal disorder in distinctly national terms. The goldfields mystery, the Aboriginal detective, the glamorous lesbian cop and the post-modern puzzle all reveal distinctive aspects of Australianness.