Lorsqu'en 1914, Ashley Crowther revient en Australie pour s'occuper de la propriété héritée de son père, il découvre un paysage merveilleux peuplé de bécasses, d'ibis et de martins-chasseurs. Il y fait également la connaissance de Jim Saddler, la vingtaine comme lui, passionné par la faune sauvage de l'estuaire et des marais. Au-delà de leurs différences personnelles et sociales, les deux jeunes hommes partagent un rêve : créer un sanctuaire destiné aux oiseaux migrateurs.
Loin de là, l'Europe plonge dans un conflit d'une violence inouïe qui n'épargnera ni Jim ni Ashley, envoyés sur le front français. Seul témoin de la parenthèse heureuse qui les a réunis, Imogen, une photographe anglaise amoureuse comme eux des oiseaux. Saura-t-elle préserver le souvenir des moments exceptionnels qu'ils ont connus ?
Dans sa première traduction en français, ce roman publié il y a près de quarante ans s'impose avec le temps comme un chef-d'oeuvre empreint de poésie et de lumière.
Une rançon marque le retour à la fiction de l'immense écrivain qu'est David Malouf, cela faisait plus de dix ans qu'il n'avait pas publié de roman. Dans ce livre, il nous offre une réinterprétation incroyable de l'une des scènes les plus célèbres de la littérature tirée de L'Illiade d'Homère : Quand au cours du siège de Troie, Achille tue Hector, profane son corps, et que le père d'Hector, Priam, essaie de récupérer le corps de son fils.
Deux hommes face à la souffrance, au chagrin, et en quête de rédemption. Achille, sans merci, qui a perdu son ami Patrocle dans les combats, et Priam, qui pleure son fils, responsable de la mort de Patrocle. Dans ce face-à-face, chacun doit évaluer la demande de l'autre, tenter de se mettre à sa place et trouver une issue, face à la guerre et à la mort.
Une rançon est un livre incandescent au lyrisme tout à la fois puissant et délicat, un roman qui a l'étoffe de l'épopée légendaire qu'il restitue.
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".
In the first century AD, Publius Ovidius Naso, the most urbane and irreverant poet of imperial Rome, was banished to a remote village on the edge of the Black Sea. From these sparse facts, one of our most distinguished novelists has fashioned an audacious and supremely moving work of fiction. Marooned on the edge of the known world, exiled from his native tongue, Ovid depends on the kindness of barbarians who impate their dead and converse with the spirit world. But then he becomes the guardian of a still more savage creature, a feral child who has grown up among deer. What ensues is a luminous encounter between civilization and nature, as enacted by a poet who once catalogued the treacheries of love and a boy who slowly learns how to give it.
Each house, like each place, has its own topography, its own lore. A complex history comes down to us, through household jokes and anecdotes, odd family habits, and irrational superstitions, that forever shapes what we see and the way in which we see it.Beginning with his childhood home, David Malouf moves on to show other landmarks in his life, and the way places and things create our private worlds. Written with humour and uncompromising intelligence, 12 Edmondstone Street is an unforgettable portrait of one man's life.
From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother's GI Escort, yet still hoping for the return of a father 'missing in action', to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, these outstanding stories conjure up with sharp intensity the memories and events that make a man. These powerfully vivid stories range over more than a century of Australian life, from green tropical lushness to 'blacksoil country', from scrub and outback to city streets - evoking dark shadows beneath a bright sun, and lives shaped by the ghosts of history and the rhythms of unruly nature.
A young man going off to war tries to make sense of his place in the world he is leaving; a composer's life plays itself out as a complex domestic cantata; an accident on a hunting trip speaks volumes, which its inarticulate victim never could; and a down-to-earth woman stubbornly tries to keep her feet on the ground at Ayers Rock. Malouf's men and women are together but curiously alone, looking for something they seem to have missed, or missed out on, in life. Powerfully rooted in the heat and the dust of the vast Australian continent, this is a heartbreakingly beautiful and richly satisfying collection by a master storyteller, one of the great writers of our time.
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.
Born on a poor dairy farm in Queensland, Frank Harland's life is centred on his great artistic gift, his passionate love for his father and four brothers and his need to repossess, through a patch of land, his family's past. The story spans Frank's life; from before the First World War, through years as a swaggie in the Great Depression and Brisbane in the forties, to his retirement to a patch of Australian scrub where he at last takes possession of his dream. Harland's Half Acre tells how a man sets out to recover the land his ancestors discovered and then lost and how, in fulfilment, this vision becomes a new reality.
The year is 1827, and in a remote hut on the high plains of New South Wales, two strangers spend the night in talk. One, Carney, an illiterate Irishman, ex-convict and bushranger, is to be hanged at dawn. The other, Adair, also Irish, is the police officer who has been sent to supervise the hanging. As the night wears on, the two discover unexpected connections between their lives, and learn new truths. Outside the hut, Adair's troopers sit uneasily, reflecting on their own pasts and futures, waiting for the morning to come. With ironic humour and in prose of starkly evocative power, the novel moves between Australia and Ireland to explore questions of nature and justice, reason and un-reason, the workings of fate, and the small measure of freedom a man may claim in the face of death. A new novel by Malouf is a major event; The Conversations At Curlow Creek will confirm him as one of the greatest novelists of our time.
Every city, town and village has its memorial to war. Nowhere are these more eloquent than in Australia, generations of whose young men have enlisted to fight other people's battles - from Gallipoli and the Somme to Malaya and Vietnam. In The Great World, his finest novel yet, David Malouf gives a voice to that experience. But The Great World is more than a novel of war. Ranging over seventy years of Australian life, from Sydney's teeming King's Cross to the tranquil backwaters of the Hawkesbury River, it is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and lost innocence, of survival and witness.
For three very different people brought together by their love for birds, life on the Queensland coast in 1914 is the timeless and idyllic world of sandpipers, ibises and kingfishers. In another hemisphere civilization rushes headlong into a brutal conflict. Life there is lived from moment to moment. Inevitably, the two young men - sanctuary owner and employee - are drawn to the war, and into the mud and horror of the trenches of Armentieres. Alone on the beach, their friend Imogen, the middle-aged wildlife photographer, must acknowledge for all three of them that the past cannot be held.
Un jeune homme qui part à la guerre tente de comprendre quelle est sa véritable place dans le monde qu'il s'apprête à quitter. La vie d'un compositeur prend des allures de cantate complexe sur le plan domestique. Un accident de chasse a des répercussions que sa victime n'aurait jamais pu imaginer. Une femme se souvient de son bonheur passé, au bord d'une piscine italienne. Une veuve, en visite à Ayers Rock, essaie de garder le contrôle de sa vie. Des obsèques ont des conséquences inattendues sur un homme qui y assiste...
Tous les personnages de David Malouf, hommes ou femmes, sont ensemble mais curieusement seuls, comme s'ils étaient à la recherche de quelque chose dont ils auraient manqué ou qu'ils auraient raté dans leur vie.
Puissamment enraciné dans les paysages et les réalités de l'Australie, ce superbe et poignant recueil de nouvelles est une passionnante exploration de ces mondes intérieurs qui à la fois nous séparent et nous relient les uns aux autres.
By arguably Australia's greatest author, a succinct and intense meditation on what makes a happy life.
"Happiness surely is among the simplest of human emotions and the most spontaneous," begins David Malouf. But, what is it exactly that we're looking for when we chase happiness? At this unique moment in history when privileged, industrialized nations have diminished much of what makes us unhappy--illness, famine--why are we still unable to find happiness, resorting instead to yoga, church, match.com, drugs, clinical therapy, and retail therapy?
Malouf doesn't have a quick fix on offer. Instead he takes us through an exploration of happiness consulting with, among many others, Kant, Plato, Aristotle, Heidegger, and Thomas Jefferson, who he argues may have first divided the notion of "happiness" from material satisfaction when he crafted his most famous demand: "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
The Happy Life is at once a penetrating, entertaining, and eminently readable work.