Michael Moran has led a varied and adventurous life. Born and educated
in Australia and Europe, he spent his twenties wandering the islands
of Polynesia and Melanesia. He finally settled among the descendants
of the Bounty mutiny on Norfolk Island off the eastern Australian
coast. As the Broadcasting Officer for the Administration, he helped
establish the radio station.
Subsequently pursuing a career in music, he studied the piano and
harpsichord professionally in London for many years, facilitated by
his academic work as an English teacher. He has lectured on a variety
of subjects, ranging from the music of Fryderyk Chopin and François
Couperin to British art and architecture and the colonial history
and culture of the South Pacific region. His historical novel, Point
Venus, set in the former British penal settlement on Norfolk
Island, was successfully published in Australia. (Brandl & Schlesinger,
Sydney 1998). Posted for some years to Poland shortly after the fall
of communism, his life-long fascination with Melanesia drew him to
the work of the enigmatic Polish anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski.
This encounter and an abiding interest in the German Pacific Empire
precipitated his latest return to the South Seas. Beyond
the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific
was the fruit of this expedition through the island provinces of Papua
New Guinea (HarperCollins, London 2003 and Flamingo 2004). The book
was short-listed for the 2004 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. His book A Country in the Moon : Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland was published by Granta in London in 2008. This cultural odyssey and residence book chronicles his adventures in Poland immediately following the fall of communism and the transition to the market economy. It remains popular and has become the classic introduction to the country for the intelligent general reader. In April 2017 Moran was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award in Travel Literature for this work jointly by the University of Florida and the Eric Friedheim Foundation in New York.
In 2011 he was awarded a literary grant by the Australia Council to write the biography of his grand uncle, the once internationally famous but now forgotten Australian concert pianist Edward Cahill. A severely edited version of his colourful life featured in the Prologue to A Country in the Moon. The book entitled The Pocket Paderewski: The Beguiling Life of the Australian Concert Pianist Edward Cahill was published in November 2016 by Australian Scholarly Publishing. Historic recordings of Chopin and Liszt made by Cahill in the 1950s are available through an internet link printed in the book.
A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a lecturer there and an
incessant traveller, he lives and works in Warsaw, Sydney and London.