For litigation lawyer and arbitrator Tim Griffiths, penning his first novel about legendary Australian photographer Frank Hurley was an exercise in patience, creativity and passion. He speaks to CLAIRE CHAFFEY.
Tim Griffiths has always had an interest in writing but, like so many lawyers, work and family commitments ensured that time for pursuing passions was limited. But about five years ago all that changed when – with his four children growing up and becoming more self-sufficient – he found himself with more time and began to think seriously about putting pen to paper.
The result is his debut novel, Endurance. Based on the adventures of Frank Hurley, the intrepid and somewhat mysterious Australian photographer who shot some of the world’s most famous images, from Antarctic exploration through to the World Wars and remote tribes in Papua New Guinea, Endurance is a work of fiction weighted heavily in fact. The story centres on the winter of 1915 in which explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance, became caught in the Antarctic ice, sparking a brutal struggle for survival for the 28 men on board.
Griffiths’ novel, which has been praised as “a very strong, quintessentially Australian novel” by journalist Peter FitzSimons, includes a good dose of informed imagination, bringing to life a hugely important historical figure about whom very little is known. “They call him ‘The man who made history’,” says Griffiths.