James Vance Marshall is the pseudonym of Donald Payne (b. 1924). Only half a dozen Marshall novels have appeared in the last fifty years but they have sold several million copies and been translated into seventeen languages. Two, including Walkabout, have been made into films.
Walkabout is a work of collaboration between Donald Payne and the Australian James Vance Marshall (1887–1964). Marshall spent much of his life in the outback of Australia—a part of the world he knew intimately and loved deeply. He wrote a series of articles about the people, flora, and fauna of the outback, and with his permission, Payne used these articles as background for their novel Walkabout.
Subsequently, and with the consent of Marshall’s son, Payne continued to publish under the pseudonym Marshall; his most recent book is Stories from the Billabong (2008), a collection of Aboriginal legends retold as stories for children.
A haunting little idyll in the same vein as A High Wind in Jamaica…tells of two children, a boy and a girl, sole survivors of a plane crash in the Australian bush. Their fragile veneer of modern culture clashes with the primitive soul of a boy who is making his tribal walkabout. —Time