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Biography: John Birmingham

'I thought "I'll be a writer". I had this totally ridiculous, mixed-up idea of what that would entail. I thought I'd live somewhere on the coast and spend most of my day in a hammock, eating fruit salad fed to me by enigmatic Japanese housemaids.'

John Birmingham is an Australian author, famed for his 1994 hit He Died With A Felafel In His Hand and his history of Sydney entitled Leviathan: The unauthorised biography of Sydney, both of which are extremely different and showcase his transition from voice of youth to a new, more adult writer.


John Birmingham was born on August 7th, 1964 in Liverpool in the United Kingdom. His parents migrated with him to Australia in 1970, and settled in Ipswich, Queensland. He attended the University of Queensland in Brisbane and obtained an Arts degree. After graduating he moved to Canberra to undertake fulltime employment with the Department of Defence, however he disliked working in Canberra so he returned to Queensland and decided to become a writer.He lived in a lot of sharehousing during the following period. In 2002 he won Australia's National Prize For Non-Fiction for Leviathan He currently lives in Brisbane.



  • He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (1994)
  • The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco (1997)
  • The Felafel Guide to Getting Wasted (2002)
  • The Felafel Guide to Sex (2002)
  • Weapons of Choice (2004)
  • Designated Targets (2005)
  • Final Impact (2006)


  • Leviathan: the unauthorised biography of Sydney (1999)
  • How To Be A Man (2000)
  • Off One's Tits(2002)
  • Dopeland: Taking the High Road Through Australia's Marijuana Culture (2003)


  • Appeasing Jakarta - Quarterly Essay (2001)


We have reviews for John Birmingham books in the science fiction and war genres.