Christopher John Bevan (born 14 April 1957) is the author of two novels.
The first, A Kinchela Boy, was published in 2010 during a launch by the Governor of New South Wales, her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, in the presence of indigenous leaders and a former Chief Justice of Australia and principal author of the High Court's decisions in Mabo and the Wik Peoples.
The second, Parable of the Two Sons, was published in 2012.
He is a practising barrister in Sydney and is also the author of several legal texts on taxation law and company law.
Bevan was born in Sydney, Australia, the eldest son of Frank William Bevan and Margaret Johanna Bevan. Bevan's father, Frank, was a leading Sydney businessman who was instrumental in computerisation of the Australian print advertising and print media in the 1970s.
He was an avid reader, favouring the work as a teenage boy of Arthur Koestler, R L Stevenson, Albert Camus, J R R Tolkien and J D Salinger. He attended St Pius X College, Chatswood, where he graduated second in the year in Year 12 for the Higher School Certificate. He graduated with a degree in Keynesian economics in 1978 and a degree in law in 1981 from University of Sydney. In 1994 he graduated with a Master of Laws with second class honours in taxation law from the University of Sydney. Until 2005, he taught postgraduate taxation law at ATAX, the taxation law department in the faculty of law at the University of New South Wales.
He lived in Kempsey, in northern New South Wales, where he practised as a solicitor, from 1980-1989. His time there, working with aboriginal people, was the genesis of his semi- autobiographical first novel, A Kinchela Boy, a heart wrenching account of the life of two members of the "Stolen Generations", as told from their point of view with their dialogue rendered in their unique brand of pidgin.
He has been married to Jennifer, who works as the publisher of his novels, since 1981 and has four children with her, a son aged 28, a son aged 20, a daughter aged 17 and a son aged 15. His brother, Mark Bevan, is a leading Sydney jazz composer and guitarist, whose jazz ensemble, Planet Waves, performed at the launch of Bevan's first novel in 2010. His sister, Sandra Cryer, is a senior nursing manager.
Bevan has been a practising member of the New South Wales Bar, specialising in appellate, taxation, company and trust law, since 1991.
Bevan's novels are about difficult issues facing modern society. He only writes stories set in Australia or, if set in other countries, about Australian characters. His principal theme is the place of Australia and Australian society in the wider global scene.A Kinchela Boy is about one of the darkest aspects of Australia history, one which the country was in denial about until its Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gave an apology to the 'Stolen Generations' from the floor of the Australian Parliament in August 2008.
The novel is in many ways experimental. First, it is the first major work of fiction with aboriginal people as its subject matter not told by an aboriginal writer. Two other works about aboriginal people and society by aboriginal writers, Alex Wright's Carpentaria, and Kim Scott's Dead Man's Dance, both won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's premier award for literary fiction. Secondly, A Kinchela Boy is told primarily from the perspective of two poorly educated members of the "Stolen Generations", their simple take on what is unfolding around them proving to be one of the novel's most endearing qualities. Thirdly, its aboriginal dialogue is rendered in the pidgin English of the story's principal characters, a feat not attempted before on that scale in the telling of the story of Australian aborigines.
Parable of the Two Sons is about a struggle by a father and one of his sons to come to terms with their homosexuality in the aftermath of the death of the father's wife and the son's mother. Each discovers his true sexuality only in the searing pain of grief for a loved one. The story is also about forgiveness and discovering the true character of parents only after their death, when their words and actions of a lifetime are analysed and given their true meaning in the course of being raked over in court proceedings over their estate.
The principal theme of Bevan's forthcoming novel, Ash Wednesday, due for publication in late 2013, is global warming and its role in the devastating bush fires of February 2010 in central Victoria, dubbed "Black Saturday" because they took several hundred lives and razed dozens of small towns, obliterating some of them from the map. The novel traces the history of the role of Danish immigrants in the development of modern Australia society and culture, especially that of Joern Utzon, the Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House.
The principal theme of Bevan's second forthcoming novel, The Blue Note, due for publication in mid 2014, which is based loosely on the life of his younger brother, Mark, a composer and performer of modern jazz, is the tension created by music in the lives of those who devote themselves to its composition and performance: its creative and destructive forces, especially when it consumes its creators.
Bevan's last legal publication, Corporations Law in a Nutshell, 7th edition, was published in 2012. It is his last publication of a legal text. Henceforth Bevan has committed his writing career to the writing of literary fiction (novels) and non-fiction, primarily essays and literary reviews for literary journals, to the exclusion of his legal texts. He will continue to practise at the Bar indefinitely.