Brian Nicholls is the author of four distinctive books.

Two memoirs. A novella. A novel. 

Scroll down and check them out...

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) based his judgement on books on the Roman poet Horace’s division of good authors who ‘simply delight’ us and the great ones who ‘mix the useful with the sweet’. This notion was so current in the Renaissance that great authors such as Rabelais and Ronsard were often called utiles-doux (‘useful-delightful’).

Useful and delightful. This is what I aim for.


Tess is experienced and erotic.
Gretl wilful and illusive.
Vicky perverse, vulgar and wounded.
Julie a tantalising trickster...

A provocative and disarmingly honest memoir of a young Australian’s romantic misadventures in 1960s London at the beginning of the Permissive Age. A beguiling and powerful story of love, infatuation, folly, despair and guilt.

A Saucepan in the Sky

‘The most you can expect,’ Uncle Stan said, ‘is for things to almost make sense.’

A Saucepan in the Sky is the story of a boy who thinks anything can be explained if you have the right word − hence his quest for a really big dictionary. But through his family he gets an inkling that a thing called paradox plays a great part in the workings of the world.

A Suitcase in the Desert

Two lost children
A man in search of himself
An unforgiving land
An unlikely romance
A murder...

Matt Hudson is an emotionally damaged homicide detective who has dented his code of honour and lost a clear purpose in life.


A Journey Among Heroes in Search of Final Things.

On a plane bound for London George Brent reveals to a stranger-confidant a plan that is calculated and rational yet filled with poetic imagination. He becomes a knight-errant believing his death is the last remarkable thing that will happen to him.

What readers say

The world that Nicholls evokes is vivid, full of laughter, triumph and tears.

Authortalk, Berkelouw Bookshop
A Saucepan in the Sky

So much of it seemed very familiar to my own struggles and wow moments.

A. A. Devon, UK.
A Saucepan in the Sky

An utterly readable account of a memorable ‘ordinary’ environment. Uncle Vic is a ‘funny bugger’ with a Conradian outlook. ‘Uncle’ Stan is wonderfully disreputable. A charming book…as tender a maternal portrait as you will ever read.

Australian Book Review
A Saucepan in the Sky

A Saucepan in the Sky has a lot more going for it than just a great title. Nicholls gets the child’s voice just right, no mean feat without getting mawkish

Marrickville Heritage Society Newsletter
A Saucepan in the Sky

Had me in fits of laughter in the train en route to work.

R.H. Wavell Heights, Qld.
A Saucepan in the Sky

I reluctantly read the last page and immediately wished for more.

J. D. Paddington, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

A classic. A lovely book.

A.M. Canberra.
A Saucepan in the Sky

The humour and the entertaining bits make one laugh out loud, but underlying this is the layer of pathos and longing. Hyperbole confronts understatement; sensitive and poetic passages of intense sympathy contrast with brutal reality.

A.R. Applecross, WA

Comic and loving…the reader is hooked from the beginning. You’ll want to raise your glass to Brian and his gang of relatives.

Geelong Advertiser
A Saucepan in the Sky

Brian Nicholls creates an array of memorable characters. A lack of sentimentality is a strength of both McCourt’s (Angela’s Ashes) and Nicholls' memoir, but the national humour and idioms of A Saucepan in the Sky stand out as unmistakably Australian.

Independent Scholars Association of Australia Review
A Saucepan in the Sky

Simple experiences imbued with charm… dilemmas presented clearly in a way that should strike chords of recognition…this is worth reading.

Canberra Times
A Saucepan in the Sky

Never a dull moment.

50 something
A Saucepan in the Sky

About ClarrieMay Publishing

The ClarrieMay Publishing photo-logo shows Brian’s father Clarence George Nicholls (1915-2004) and mother Eileen May Nicholls (nee Hudson) (1919-1989) on their honeymoon at Luna Park, Sydney in 1935.

They were married for over fifty years. They survived many set-backs and difficult years including the Great Depression of 1929-1933, and long separations during the Second World War.

They are major influences in Brian’s childhood memoir A Saucepan in the Sky.