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Description - Remembering Babylon by David Malouf

A searing and magnificent picture of Australia at the moment of its foundation, with early settlers staking out their small patch of land and terrified by the harsh and alien continent. Focussing on the hostility between the early British inhabitants and the native Aborigines. Remembering Bablyon tells the tragic and compelling story of a boy who finds himself caught between the two worlds. Shot through with humour, and written with the poetic intensity that characterised Malouf's An Imaginary Life, this is a novel of epic scope yet it is simple, compassionate and universal: a classic.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099302421
ISBN-10: 009930242X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 13mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 19-May-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Remembering Babylon by David Malouf

UK Kirkus Review » This book gave me enormous pleasure. It is a gripping story involving white and aboriginal Australia, sparely told, but with great dramatic and psychological intensity. Malouf's fine prose style, his choice of visual detail and his gift for conversation transport one in a few sentences out of one's own place and time. The coda of the book, set many years after the main events described, is very moving. Malouf's sense of the slow workings of history and his vision of the mysterious darkness that lies at the heart of things make this book live in the memory long after one has put it down. Review by VIKRAM SETH, author of An Equal Music. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A quietly masterful tale from Australia's colonial past, depicting the savage and painful nuances of racism evoked when a white youth raised by aborigines returns to his own people: from award-winning novelist and poet Malouf (The Great World, 1991, etc.). When Gemmy Fairley encounters the children of Jock McIvor as they play on the fringe of their mid-19th-century settlement in the Outback, a chain of events is set in motion that changes all their lives. Gemmy, cast ashore as a child after a brutal life in the streets of London and at sea, joined the natives who found him, spending 16 years with them before seeking out other whites to find answers to questions about his origin still tormenting him. Adopted by McIvor's family, proud Scottish immigrants, he is accepted by them but not by the community, which views him with distrust as his otherness remains intact - and when native visitors are seen with him, fears of an attack turn the whites violently against him. Saved by Jock - who finds his own growing estrangement from his neighbors a disturbing development that he's powerless to change - Gemmy is removed to more secure lodgings, but he wishes only to escape and vanishes soon after. Meanwhile, his presence among the McIvor children has proved a turning point for them, as they witness both Gemmy's innocence and the barbarity of others, and in the process the whole family becomes increasingly open to the subtle natural wonders of their new homeland. Delicate but relentless in its focus on the manifestations of racial intolerance, this is enhanced by a naturalist's keen eye for detail, bringing landscape and states of mind together in a probing, resonant vision of discovery and despair. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - David Malouf

David Malouf is the internationally acclaimed author of novels including The Great World (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Prix Femina Etranger), Remembering Babylon (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life, Conversations at Curlow Creek, His most recent, Ransom, published in 2010, and his autobiographical classic 12 Edmondstone Street. His Collected Stories won the 2008 Australia-Asia Literary Award, and his recent story collections are Dream Stuff ('These stories are pearls' Spectator) and Every Move You Make ('Rare and luminous talent' Guardian). In 2008 Malouf was the Scottish Arts' Council Muriel Spark International Fellow. Born in 1934 in Brisbane, where he was brought up, he lives in Sydney.

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