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Description - Tuvalu by Andrew O'Connor

Winner of the Australian/Vogel's Literary Award 2005.'Tuvalu . Everyone has a place like that. A dream land or life they're working towards, however vaguely. . Some people probably have more than one Tuvalu in a life. It changes as they grow. Or maybe they get to the first one and find it's nothing like they imagined and need a new one. You must have had at least one?"No.'A love story of sorts, Tuvalu tells the story of Noah Tuttle, who is glumly and aimlessly living a half kind of life in a cheap rundown hostel in the seamier margins of Tokyo, a place overrun with feral cats and cockroaches. He teaches mediocre English to disinterested students, sleeps with his girlfriend, Tilly, when she's around, drinks beer when he can afford it, and generally avoids other people and their expectations. Nothing much happens to him - until, that is, he meets the wealthy, captivating and completely self-absorbed Mami Kaketa, a supremely selfish creature who leaves people like so much litter in her wake, so brazen and capricious she should come with a health warning.A blackly funny, inconclusive and strangely beguiling story of ennui, escape, exile and dreams.' Always surprising, it maps the complex emotional currents of a young man navigating between two cultures, exploring issues of love, lust, honesty and commitment.' Liam Davison'The quality of the writing is high and seemingly effortless . the prose is assured and fluid and his observations are original . it has real spark.' John Dale'An assured voice . an accomplished and interesting writer.' Jean Bedford

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781741148718
ISBN-10: 1741148715
Format: Paperback
(195mm x 130mm x 26mm)
Pages: 360
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - Tuvalu by Andrew O'Connor

US Kirkus Review » Tragi-comic love life of a young Australian footloose in Japan.Instead of attending university, Noah Tuttle has come to Tokyo with a fake diploma to scratch out a living as an English teacher. In a run-down, vermin-ridden hostel, he rooms with fellow Aussie Tilly, a sickly girl unforthcoming about her past. Then there's Mami, a rich girl who lives in a glitzy suite in her father's high-rise hotel. Tilly longs for an idealized Pacific island, Tuvalu. Rule-eschewing Mami steals, fakes suicide and in general apes the lifestyle of a Japanese SuperFreak. Her serendipitous encounters with Noah always leave him battered, physically and/or emotionally. Both Tilly and Noah are summoned home. Noah's father, an ex-priest, panics when Noah's mother becomes a live-in chef for a lesbian sculptor. Tilly's biologist father is struggling to farm lavender and preserve endangered frogs. Noah and Tilly quarrel and he returns to Tokyo without her, falling once more into Mami's clutches, and into the money-leaching schemes of scammer entrepreneur Harry. After a lackluster tour of Tokyo's seedier hostess bars, the action picks up when Tilly returns, to find Noah with Mami. The hostel is being slowly demolished by "Deconstructionists" and its population of stray cats decimated. (Cat lovers, beware of certain pages.) Kicked out by Tilly, Noah is squatting in a nearby apartment mysteriously vacated by their former landlady. Justifiably horrified by the cat carnage, Tilly decamps for Australia for good. (We'll learn later that her illness was not anorexia, but leukemia.) Mami is collared for shoplifting and goes into family-enforced exile, while Noah becomes embroiled in a marijuana operation with former hostel mate Phillip, a now disfigured ex-model who had "the sort of jaw that propped up whole lines of cologne." Against his better instincts, Noah embraces Mami as his own personal Tuvalu. The ending, intended to be ambiguous, will not be if "rules" of character consistency hold true. Redeemed from jejune first-novel fatuousness by apt imagery and pervasive wit. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Andrew O'Connor

Andrew O'Connor was born in 1978 in Warragul, Victoria. He studied Arts at Melbourne University before travelling and working in central and northern Australia. For the last four years, Andrew has divided his time between stints teaching English (ESL) in various regions of Japan, and writing in Australia.