(2 May 1902, Noorat, Victoria ... 21 January 1984, Melbourne) was an Australian writer, story teller and social documenter.
His best known book, I Can Jump Puddles
(1955) is the first of a three-part autobiography. The other two books are This is the Grass
(1962) and In Mine Own Heart
When Marshall was six years old he contracted polio leaving him with a physical disability that grew worse as he grew older. From an early age, he resolved to be a writer, and in I Can Jump Puddles
he demonstrated an almost total recall of his childhood in Noorat. The characters and places of his book are thinly disguised from real life: Mount Turalla
is Mount Noorat, Lake Turalla
is Lake Keilambete, the Curruthers
are the Blacks
, and his best friend, Joe
from the books, is Leo Carmody.
Australian poet and contemporary, Hal Porter wrote in 1965 that Alan Marshall is:
... the warmest and most centralized human being ... To walk with ease and nonchalance the straight, straight line between appearing tragic and appearing willfully brave is a feat so complex I should not like to have to rake in the dark for the super-bravery to accomplish it.
Alan Marshall wrote numerous short stories, mainly set in the bush. He also wrote newspaper columns and magazine articles. He travelled widely in Australia and overseas. He also collected and published Indigenous Australian stories and legends.