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 ...Read MoreA 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.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-08-09 The prodigiously talented Australian author of the magnificent and award-winning The Great World (1991) is working on a much smaller scale here, but he writes with such beauty and universal resonance that his story has epic force. In a tiny pioneer corner of Queensland in the mid-19th century lands Gemmy Fairley, a pathetic, stammering wreck of a young man left for drowned as a boy and brought up by Aborigines. He becomes the center of attention among the local farming folk, mostly immigrants from Scotland and the North Country, already overwhelmed by their solitude in this hot, strange land, and convinced that the primitive original inhabitants will slaughter them if they drop their guard for a moment. A naturalist minister sees in Gemmy and his native skills a way for the bone-poor colony to prosper and live in harmony with the land; a decent, struggling Scottish couple take him in and by doing so tear apart their relations with their neighbors, though their children's lives are forever changed by Gemmy's presence; and the governing class, in distant Brisbane, try to do the right thing by him for all the wrong reasons. It seems the slight tale can only have a sad, violent end, but Malouf is after a much less predictable resolution. In his hands, the story acquires overtones of poetry and magic, so that death and time's passage are as palpable as the luminous landscapes he paints. This is a book that actually expands a reader's consciousness. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1994-09-12 A shipwrecked British cabin boy is raised by Australian Aborigines in this novel shortlisted for the Booker Prize. (Oct.)
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