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Remembering Babylon by David Malouf

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One of Lesley Lokko's favourite books.

Author shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2011.

April 2011 Guest Editor Lesley Lokko on David Malouf...

For the most poetic, empathetic glimpses into the minds of men, the Australian, part-Lebanese, part-Jewish writer who’s now in his seventies is absolutely top of my list. Remembering Babylon, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker, is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s the story of a young castaway who is taken in by an Aboriginal clan and who stumbles across a European settlement by chance. It’s the story of an isolated community, full of prejudice and suspicion, and yet capable of great love and tenderness. Magical, in a word. Like the best fiction, Malouf showed me a world I knew nothing about and inspired me to do the same.

If you like David Malouf you might also like to read books by Magda Szabo, Ben Okri and Christos Tsiolkas.

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Remembering Babylon by David Malouf

A picture of Australia at the time of its foundation, focused on the hostility between early British settlers and native Aboriginals. It is essentially the story of a boy caught between both worlds. David Malouf, himself an Australian, is the prize-winning author of The Great World

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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).

About the Author

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, Dream Stuff (‘These stories are pearls’ Spectator), Every Move You Make (‘Rare and luminous talent’ Guardian), his autobiographical classic 12 Edmondstone Street and Ransom. His Collected Stories won the 2008 Australia–Asia Literary Award. 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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Book Info

Publication date

19th May 1994


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192 pages


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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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