Before their years on the Greek Island of Hydra, their well-documented friendship with celebrated singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, and their literary celebrity, Charmian Clift and George Johnston collaborated on High Valley, a mystery set in the Himalayas. It won them The Sydney Morning Herald Literary Competition in 1948, and was first published in 1949.
Charmian Clift’s subsequent works include the autobiographical portraits Peel Me a Lotus (1959) and Mermaid Singing (1956), and the novel Walk to the Paradise Gardens (1960), which is also in the Untapped Collection. George Johnston’s novels include the trilogy, My Brother Jack (1964), winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1964, Clean Straw for Nothing (1969), winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1969, and A Cartload of Clay (1971). In 1970, Johnston was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to literature.