The McMillan Diaries

The McMillan Diaries was the recipient of the 2019 AAWP/UWAP Meniscus Chapter One Prize for manuscripts.

It has been acquired by Kith Books for a 2024 release and will be available for preorder later this year.

Its own dedicated website is forthcoming.

From 1840-1850, pastoralist Angus McMillan and his men waged war against the Gunaikurnai people on the Gippsland frontiers, resulting in the deaths of thousands and widespread displacement.

In 2010, his distant descendant, Western Sydney property developer Samhain McMillan was declared missing while visiting Gippsland. The only clues to his whereabouts are a series of diaries uncovered at his last known location, while official investigations have borne no fruit.

Since his disappearance, the case and its subject have become an object of fascination to the Australian public. Like his ancestor, Angus McMillan, Sam McMillan was beneficiary to the spoils of tangible human misery, but retroactively attained deific status.

Canadian researchers Dr Jeanette Dawson and Percival Watson attempt to unravel the mysteries of McMillan’s disappearance, compiling all of McMillan’s known writings, forensic evidence, critical perspectives, historical contexts, and more, ultimately confronting the question: What turns a man into a myth despite his misdeeds?

What happened to Sam McMillan?

“A nitromethane-powered burst of literary maximalism that confronts the problems of history and the multigenerational horror of frontier massacres. Benjamin D. Muir writes from the edge and on the edge, and that’s where you get stuff that matters.”

Michael Winkler, author of Grimmish

“For me, it evokes Rabelais, Swift, Sterne, Borges, Sebald – that delicious feeling that the writer is somehow ‘having a lend of one’, dismantling (and satirizing?) the kind of assurances and conventions that usually support this mode of inquiry.”

Professor Michael Meehan, author of
Deception, Below the Styx, and An Ungrateful Instrument