The Living Sea of Waking Dreams
An ember storm of a novel, this is Booker Prize-winning novelist Richard Flanagan at his most moving-and astonishing-best.
In a world of perennial fire and growing extinctions, Anna’s aged mother is dying-if her three children would just allow it. Condemned by their pity to living she increasingly escapes through her hospital window into visions of horror and delight.
When Anna’s finger vanishes and a few months later her knee disappears, Anna too feels the pull of the window. She begins to see that all around her others are similarly vanishing, but no one else notices. All Anna can do is keep her mother alive. But the window keeps opening wider, taking Anna and the reader ever deeper into a strangely beautiful novel about hope and love and orange-bellied parrots.
Flanagan has delivered a book that both distills the literary qualities for which he has been celebrated for more than a quarter of a century and recasts our ideas about the kind of writer he is and what he can do. This novel is a revelation and triumph, from a writer demonstrating, yet again, the depths of his talent, while revelling in a new, unfamiliar register. It is at once timely and timeless, full of despair but leavened by hope, angry and funny and sad and a bit magical... What an astonishing book this is -- Michael Williams * Sydney Morning Herald * Pure and simple... A book in which workaday realism is increasingly marbled with magical effects... What impresses most, however, is that Flanagan's novel doesn't end in condemnation. It keeps searching for the proper form for love -- Geordie Williamson * The Australian *
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