Martin, David

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MARTIN, DAVID (1915–1997), Australian poet and novelist. Born Ludwig Detsinyi in Budapest, Martin was educated in Germany, but left in 1935 with the rise of Nazi power, spending a year on a kibbutz in Ereẓ Israel. He fought in the Spanish Civil War, and lived in London from 1938, working for various newspapers and the European Service of the b.b.c. He moved to Australia in 1949, and was briefly editor of the Sydney Jewish News. His works include verse collections such as Battlefields and Girls (1942); From Life (1953); and The Gift (1966); and the novels, Tiger Bay (1946); The Stones of Bombay (1950); The Young Wife (1962); and The King Between (1966). Martin contributed stories, criticism, and occasional verse to Jewish publications in England, the U.S.A., and Australia. One of his best-known poems, "I am a Jew," was published in his Collected Poems, 19381958 (1958). His other major Jewish works are a play, The Shepherd and the Hunter (1946), dealing with the Palestine problem in the 1940s, and the autobiographical novel, Where A Man Belongs (1968), which deals with aspects of contemporary Jewish life. Martin was a member of the Australian Communist Party from 1951 until 1959 and remained on the left until the end of his life, advocating a policy of "armed neutrality" for Australia in the 1980s. He wrote an autobiography, My Strange Friend (1991).


J. Hetherington, Forty-two Faces (1962), 127–32, incl. bibl.

[Greer Fay Cashman]

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Martin, David

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