Every city, town and village has its memorial to war. Nowhere are these more eloquent than in Australia, generations of whose young men have enlisted to fight other people's battles - from Gallipoli and the Somme to Malaya and Vietnam. In The Great World, his finest novel yet, David Malouf gives a voice to that experience. But The Great World is more than a novel of war. Ranging over seventy years of Australian life, from Sydney's teeming King's Cross to the tranquil backwaters of the Hawkesbury River, it is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and lost innocence, of survival and witness.
A collection of personal essays and writing from David Malouf to celebrate his 80th birthday. Topography, geography, history. Multiculturalism, referendums, the constitution and national occasions. Parental and grandparental romances, the sensual and bountiful beauty of Brisbane, the mysterious offerings of Queenslander houses, and leaving home. The idea of a nation and the heart of its people. Being Australian and Australia's relationship to the world. Putting ourselves on the map. All these subjects, and more, are explored from the generous, questioning and original perspective of David Malouf. At the heart of these pieces is the idea of home, where and what it is. What they illustrate is the formation of a man, an Australian and one of the best writers this country has produced.
In the first century AD, Publius Ovidius Naso, the most urbane and irreverant poet of imperial Rome, was banished to a remote village on the edge of the Black Sea. From these sparse facts, one of our most distinguished novelists has fashioned an audacious and supremely moving work of fiction.
Marooned on the edge of the known world, exiled from his native tongue, Ovid depends on the kindness of barbarians who impate their dead and converse with the spirit world. But then he becomes the guardian of a still more savage creature, a feral child who has grown up among deer. What ensues is a luminous encounter between civilization and nature, as enacted by a poet who once catalogued the treacheries of love and a boy who slowly learns how to give it.
Words, music, art and performance. The stuff of a satisfying life.After exploring the idea of home, where and what it is in A First Place, what does it mean to be a writer and where writing begins in The Writing Life, David Malouf moves on to words and music and art and performance in Being There. With pieces on the Sydney Opera House - then and now - responses to art, artists and architects, and including Malouf's not previously published libretti for Voss and a translation of Hippolytus, this is an unmissable and stimulating collection of one man's connection to the world of art, ideas and culture.
Who else, but a writer, is really able to interrogate the work of other writers?From Christina Stead, Les Murray and Patrick White to Proust, Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte, David Malouf reads and examines the work of writers who have challenged, inspired and entertained us for generations. He also explores his own work and the life of the writer, where the ever-present danger is spending too much time talking about writing and not enough doing it.These alternative views of some of our best-loved writers and readers will send us scurrying back to read Jane Eyre, Such is Life, Kipling and of course, David Malouf.
A revised edition of this seminal Malouf novel, now with an Afterword from the author.Frank Harland's life is centred on his great artistic gift, his passionate love for his father and four brothers, and his desire to regain the Harlands' lost prosperity. Phil Vernon, growing up alone in the midst of a demanding family, is a boy when he first meets Frank Harland, but he is inexorably drawn into the Harlands' circle.Through the interlinked lives of the two families, David Malouf explores solitude and society, possession and dispossession, the obsessions and violence of family life and love, illuminating the larger world of events and imagination.
For three very different people brought together by their love for birds, life on the Queensland coast in 1914 is the timeless and idyllic world of sandpipers, ibises and kingfishers. In another hemisphere civilization rushes headlong into a brutal conflict. Life there is lived from moment to moment. Inevitably, the two young men - sanctuary owner and employee - are drawn to the war, and into the mud and horror of the trenches of Armentieres. Alone on the beach, their friend Imogen, the middle-aged wildlife photographer, must acknowledge for all three of them that the past cannot be held.
Each house, like each place, has its own topography, its own lore. A complex history comes down to us, through household jokes and anecdotes, odd family habits, and irrational superstitions, that forever shapes what we see and the way in which we see it.
Beginning with his childhood home, David Malouf moves on to show other landmarks in his life, and the way places and things create our private worlds. Written with humour and uncompromising intelligence, 12 Edmondstone Street is an unforgettable portrait of one man's life.
"Despite Johnno's assertion that Brisbane was absolutely the ugliest place in the world, I had the feeling as I walked across deserted intersections, past empty parks with their tropical trees all spiked and sharp-edged in the early sunlight, that it might even be beautiful ... " Johnno is a typical Australian who refuses to be typical. His disorderly presence can disturb the staleness of his home town or destroy the tranquillity of a Greek landscape. An affectionately outrageous portrait, David Malouf's first novel recreates the war-conscious forties, the pubs and brothels of the fifties, and the years away treading water overseas.
The year is 1827, and in a remote hut on the high plains of New South Wales, two strangers spend the night in talk. One, Carney, an illiterate Irishman, ex-convict and bushranger, is to be hanged at dawn. The other, Adair, also Irish, is the police officer who has been sent to supervise the hanging. As the night wears on, the two discover unexpected connections between their lives, and learn new truths. Outside the hut, Adair's troopers sit uneasily, reflecting on their own pasts and futures, waiting for the morning to come. With ironic humour and in prose of starkly evocative power, the novel moves between Australia and Ireland to explore questions of nature and justice, reason and un-reason, the workings of fate, and the small measure of freedom a man may claim in the face of death. A new novel by Malouf is a major event; The Conversations At Curlow Creek will confirm him as one of the greatest novelists of our time.