Friday, 16 April 2010
Volcanic ash you say?
With the pesky Icelandic ash cloud threatening to disrupt the start of LIBF next week, volcanic activity has become a rather unlikely talking point with volcanologists thrust into the spotlight like never before (even in the Daily Mail).
So with volcanoes even being a Twitter trending topic, I thought I’d take the chance to write about an engrossing new novel by prize-winning Australian author Andrew McGahan. Wonders of a Godless World, McGahan’s fifth novel, tells the story of a young orphan girl living in a decaying mental institution on a torpid tropical island (complete with ash-spewing volcano). The girl cannot speak or understand the speech of others and lives an isolated existence, until that is, a stranger arrives at the hospital, lost in an inexplicable coma. Although he never speaks, the orphan becomes convinced that she can hear the foreigner speaking in her head: he is cursed, he claims with immortality. And so begins a journey of discovery that will take them right around the world and far beyond it. Questioning ideas of reality and madness, this is a book quite unlike anything I have ever read and will certainly provoke debate amongst readers as to the identity of the mysterious stranger.
The Australian press have heaped praise upon McGahan calling Wonders an “impressively sustained feat of imagination,” rising to “invigorating heights.” Published by Allen & Unwin in 2009, Blue Door are proud to be publishing this tumultuous tale in June. Why not whet your appetite until then with the trailer