Unbending

As part of the media hubbub around the Miles Franklin shortlist — which is entirely new territory for me — you can now find brief review of the six shortlisted titles at the ABC’s Arts portal. Here’s Sarah L’Estrange on At the Edge of the Solid World:

This novel does not bend to easy summation. On the surface it is about a man crippled by grief after the death of his newborn. But where other novels might cleave to a story of domestic drama — indeed his marriage does disintegrate — this one cleverly plumbs his inner world as he searches to understand this grief within the limitations of language and shared experience. … The narrator’s peripatetic mind investigates historical figures who’ve also grappled with loss and displacement, and the reader must tussle with the overlay of meanings this intellectually sophisticated novel animates.

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