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Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser

Questions of Travel

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

An enthralling exploration of travel and our sense of place in the modern world. It is the story of two people, Laura, an Australian artist turned travel writer, and Ravi, a Sri Lankan IT man whose life is torn apart by political violence. This is as much a meditation on the modern globalised world and the way it works as it is the story of two people. The whole thing is carried along with wonderful skill as the author pulls us into the lives of the main characters and the people they meet with an accretion of lovingly detailed writing taking us through a tale that lasts for decades. It is brilliant, gripping to read while making you think.

A 'Piece of Passion' about Questions of Travel from the publisher...

'Almost eighteen months since it first knocked me off my feet in manuscript form, I’m thrilled that Michelle de Kretser’s new novel, Questions of Travel, will finally be released in the UK in March. Michelle’s exquisite prose has won her praise from the likes of Hilary Mantel, A.S. Byatt and William Boyd and longlistings for the Orange and Man Booker prizes. To my mind, Questions of Travel is the most provocative and satisfying work she’s written yet: in tracing the lives of two very disparate characters, Laura (who travels by choice) and Ravi (who travels from necessity), Michelle has produced a book which not only interrogates the very concept of travel but also the way our modern lives connect. Literary trainspotters will swoon over the gorgeous threads and echoes of writers like Patrick White, Christina Stead and Shirley Hazzard interwoven throughout Questions of Travel, and sentences like ‘She came to savour the brief minutes at the end of every journey when travel was over but arrival remained prospective.’ remind me of the best of E.M. Forster. With a quietly powerful ending that will, quite simply, floor you, this is a book to savour.'

Clare Drysdale, UK Director of Allen & Unwin

If you like Michelle de Kretser you might also like to read books by Vikas Swarup, Patrick Flannery and Tash Aw.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser

Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. An enthralling array of people, places and stories surround these superbly drawn characters - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself. Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Questions of Travel is infused with wit, imagination, uncanny common sense and a deep understanding of what makes us tick.


This is a novel unlike any other I have read... It is not really possible to describe, in a short space, the originality and depth of this long and beautifully crafted book. -- A.S. Byatt * The Guardian * Ambitious and entertaining... Questions of Travel should ensure her place as a serious international novelist of the first rank. * The Economist * Sweeping and virtuosic... An outstanding novel. -- Stephanie Cross * Daily Mail * Novel by novel, the Sri Lankan-born Australian has emerged as one of the most fiercely intelligent voices in fiction today. This new work, her most ambitious yet, makes globalisation and its discontents the focus of a multi-faceted story that unites grandeur and intimacy. -- Boyd Tonkin * The Independent * An artful meditation on movement and migration. * The Times Literary Supplement * Man Booker-longlisted de Kretser's precisely written novel is concerned with tourists, refugees and the complexities of immigration... a nuanced and ambivalent look at the crassness of tourism. * The Sunday Times * This truly is a book for our times. * Irish Times *

About the Author

Michelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was 14. She was educated in Melbourne and Paris. She is the author of three other novels: The Rose Grower, The Hamilton Case (which won the Commonwealth Prize, SE Asia and Pacific region and the Encore Prize), and The Lost Dog, which was longlisted for both the Man Booker and the Orange Prize and received Australia's 'Book of the Year' Award, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, and the Gold Medal from the Australian Literary Society. She lives in Sydney.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd January 2014


Michelle de Kretser

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Allen & Unwin


528 pages


Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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