Review #3 (2012): Remembering Babylon

Remembering Babylon

by

David MALOUF

200 pages

Published by Pantheon in 1993

I read this book for the following Challenges:

   

 

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

I had chosen to listen to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, for this Australian Literature month, but it came too late for me at the library, so I decided to postpone the listening of it to next month, and to read now this novel by a famous Australian writer.

This book was good at descriptions of the landscapes, and mostly at exploring the theme of the “other”. What happens when someone totally different shows up in your community? How do people react? Fear, fascination, imagination? how does it affect them? how are they changed themselves by this unexpected encounter? It’s also about nature and society. There are some very powerful passages on these big themes, as the author presents the event from the perspective of each person involved.

If you need a short but dense and well written novel to introduce you to Australian literature, I highly recommend you this one.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

In this rich and compelling novel, written in language of astonishing poise and resonance, one of Australia’s greatest living writers gives and immensely powerful vision of human differences and eternal divisions.  In the mid-1840s a thirteen-year-old British cabin boy, Gemmy Fairley, is cast ashore in the far north of Australia and taken in by aborigines. Sixteen years later he moves back into the world of Europeans, among hopeful yet terrified settlers who are staking out their small patch of home in an alien place. To them, Gemmy stands as a different kind of challenge: he is a force that at once fascinates and repels. His own identity in this new world is as unsettling to him as the knowledge he brings to others of the savage, the aboriginal. [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry. His novel The Great World was awarded both the prestigious Commonwealth Prize and the Prix Femina Estranger. Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Sydney, Australia.

REVIEWS BY OTHERS

“A dazzling novel…The story has moments of such high intensity that they remain scorched in memory. As the story moves forward to its conclusion, we go unwillingly with it, not wanting this book, with the wisdom it contains, to stop speaking to us.” —The Toronto Star

Remembering Babylon is another rare chance to read a work by one of the few contemporary novelists who examines our constantly battered humanity and again and again brings out its lingering beauty.” –The Globe and Mail

“There are passages of aching beauty in Remembering Babylon, and passages of shocking degradation. Mr. Malouf has written a wonderfully wise and moving novel, a novel that turns the history and mythic past of Australia into a dazzling fable of human hope and imperfection.” —The New York Times [amazon]

 

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY MALOUF?
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUSTRALIAN WRITER?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

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