A young boy caught in the conflict between early British settlers and native Aborigines witnesses the barbaric tensions that bedeviled the birth of a nation in this profound and mythical novel.
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Published: 19 May 1994
Genre: General & literary fiction
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 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.
Malouf dares a style in which a metaphor clinches a whole personality, while the common act of looking at the light and plants of Australia produces plainly spiritual transformations.
Francis Spufford, The Guardian (London)
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
Terry Goldie, The Globe and Mail (Canada)
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
New York Times
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
The novel is beautifully written. Malouf's Queensland shimmers.
Susan Geason, The Sun Herald (Sydney, Austrailia)
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