John Bartlett

About John

johnJohn Bartlett discovered writing at the age of 11 when Sr Basil reprimanded him for using ‘big words.’ Despite this ecclesiastical condemnation, he went on to pursue a career in the Catholic Church becoming a priest


inetrviewsA selection of interviews with writers, mostly on Geelong’s Pulse FM, 94.7 – books and writing program, ‘The Blurb’ Tuesdays 2pm – 4pm



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  • Estuary


‘Estuary’, a new novel by John Bartlett,  released in late September 2013, is ‘a story told with heart and a true sense of tenderness’ (Tony Birch author of Shadowboxing, Father’s day & Blood) .

Estuary is the story of Seth, a carpenter and his Aunt Leila, an artist who, while incarcerated in a mental hospital in Adelaide develops a deep friendship with a young Aboriginal woman, Ruby from the Coorong. Seth’s connection with his past reveals uncomfortable truths that he is forced to face. The twists of this story go beyond Seth’s personal history and symbolise the complex relationships that are being played out currently in Australia.

Sample Audio

Great Expectations’ my article published in The Age’s Good Weekend magazine on July 7 2001,  outlines the life of my musician/artist aunt which was one of the inspirations for ‘Estuary’.

See the video before you read the book

Estuary is the story of Seth, a wood carver who upon the death of his beloved aunt is driven to uncover the mystery surrounding her early life. Leila, an artist in Adelaide, incarcerated in a mental hospital, develops a deep friendship with a young Aboriginal woman from the Coorong. When Seth meets Ruby’s son Cubadgee he is forced to face some uncomfortable truths about his own life and identity. An unlikely love may just be possible.



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