These powerfully vivid stories from a great writer offer enormous pleasure, recognition and discovery. Ranging through the unreliable layers of family archaeology, they uncover earlier, vulnerable selves, moments of innocence or shame, and unfinished business, illumined by shocking flashes of unpredictable violence and pain, or glints of sly humour. In the brilliant cornerstone story the stuff of dreams is both real and imagined–rumoured fields of cannabis picked in secret by migrant workers, or a nightmare encounter on a dark city street. In Night Training a military recruit is scarred by his own complicity in a bizarre nightly ritual. 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 Sally’s Story in which a comfort girl looks for comfort of her own, here are men and women in search of connection, or equally wary of it–whether with each other or with past selves. David Malouf evokes, like no other writer, dark shadows beneath the bright sun.
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