Born in Richmond, Victoria, in 1947 Bruce is a school teacher, deckhand, barman, farmer, Director of Commonwealth Australian Studies project, editor, publisher, and works in Indigenous language retrieval. He published and edited Australian Short Stories quarterly magazine for 16 years, was joint winner (with David Foster) of Australian Literature Award (1999) and winner of the Radio National Short Story Competition (1998).
Bruce’s books include the short story collections Night Animals (1986) and Nightjar (2000); the novels Fox (1988), Ruby Eyed Coucal (1996),Ribcage (1999), Shark (1999), Earth (2001), and Ocean (2002); historical works Cape Otway: Coast of secrets (1997) and Convincing Ground (2007); and the childrens’ book Foxies in a Firehose (2006). Bruce has been published by Penguin, McPhee Gribble, Transworld, Magabala Books, Bruce Sims Books, Aboriginal Studies Press and Seaglass.
His most recent publications are the novel, Bloke (2009) and the children’s novel, The Chainsaw File, was published by Oxford in 2011. Fog, a dox was published in 2012 by Magabala and won the prime Minister’s award for Young Adult Literature in 2013. Dark Emu was published by Magabala in 2014.