Ian Townsend is a journalist with ABC Radio National. He has won a record four national Eureka Prizes for science and medical journalism, as well as an Australian Human Rights Award for journalism. His first novel, Affection, based on the 1900 outbreak of plague, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, the Colin Roderick Award, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, the National Year of Reading, and was long-listed for the Dublin IMPAC award. His second novel, The Devil’s Eye, based on the 1899 Bathurst Bay cyclone, was long listed for the Miles Franklin Award. He is a postgraduate research student in history at the University of Queensland, and lives in Brisbane with his wife, Kirsten MacGregor, and their three daughters.