Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category
Although she wrote all her life,Elizabeth Jolley didnâ€™t get her first book published until she was 53. Thereafter she published 15 novels, four story collections and four non-fiction books. The daughter of an Austrian mother and English father and a transplant to Australia from England, she became one of Australiaâ€™s most celebrated authors and won at least 16 awards. Yet by the time of her death in 2007, her books were out of print.
Set in Australia, AFTER THE FIRE, A STILL SMALL VOICE, skillfully tracks two narratives, each struggling to escape fateful trajectories. One, the story of Leon, traces his arrival on the continent, the child of European immigrants in the 1950s. Leon, his mother and father set up a pastry shop in Sydney turning out tarts and cakes. They live well, until, that is, his father volunteers to fight in the Korean War. He returns shattered and broken, and so Leonâ€™s world is ruptured. An irreconcilable course is set and years later Leon is conscripted as a machine gunner in Vietnam. There he realizes a nascent thirst for violence which will shadow him presumably the rest of his days.
WANTING by Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan emphasizes, by its ambiguous title, two of the most contradictory characteristics of Queen Victoriaâ€™s reignâ€”the â€śwanting,â€ť or desire, to conquer other lands and bring â€ścivilizationâ€ť to them, and the â€śwant,â€ť or lack, of empathy and respect for the people and cultures which they deliberately destroy in the process. An unusual novel which shows the damaging effects of empire-building, on both the conquered and on the arrogant â€śconquerors.”