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Reaching Tin River

Author: Thea Astley
Publisher: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : The Text Publishing Company, 2018.
Series: Text classics.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"...A vivid novel about growing up in that big brown land. Belle's story, told in the first person and mostly in the present tense, begins prenatally. Mother leaves Belle's dad; the child is born on her grandparents' sheep ranch. At a tender age, she is packed off to boarding school because Mum wants to be a drummer. Together with Belle's Aunt Marie, Mum earns an uncertain living playing big-band golden oldies in  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Fiction
Novels
Australian fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Thea Astley
ISBN: 1925603555 9781925603552
OCLC Number: 1020031284
Awards: Winner of NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize for fiction 1990 (Australia)
Description: xi, 240 pages ; 20 cm.
Series Title: Text classics.
Responsibility: Thea Astley ; introduced by Jennifer Down.

Abstract:

"...A vivid novel about growing up in that big brown land. Belle's story, told in the first person and mostly in the present tense, begins prenatally. Mother leaves Belle's dad; the child is born on her grandparents' sheep ranch. At a tender age, she is packed off to boarding school because Mum wants to be a drummer. Together with Belle's Aunt Marie, Mum earns an uncertain living playing big-band golden oldies in backwater towns. After years in a seedy boarding house, Mum and Belle move into their own home, but here Belle feels even more displaced. Unconventional Mum turns the house into a hostel for the wandering young of the counterculture 70's. ''I return home each day to a house always in flux,'' Belle mourns. ''I am the stranger in need of a center.'' Belle moves out, gets a job as a research librarian, meets a man called Seb. ''Thinking I might at this point find my missing center we achieve a quiet marriage attended by four other archivists and six cataloguers.'' Seb is not, of course, going to work out. It is here, with this flat and joyless union, that the reader begins to experience profound disbelief. Belle has described herself as pale and frail, a photographic ''negative,'' but this is scarcely a tale told by a tepid and suppressed minimalist. Belle's voice is rich, observant, critical, caustic. This voice sweeps on, noticing, recording, complaining, annihilating punctuation, ignoring grammar, making feminist pronouncements, all the while crying, ''Me, me, me.'' We never learn much about Mum the drummer (a pity, she seemed so promising); Belle's search for her father ends dismally; and as for Seb, awful Seb, the macho librarian, our heroine's main complaint is that - get this - he wanted her to cook dinner..." --New York Times.

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    schema:reviewBody ""...A vivid novel about growing up in that big brown land. Belle's story, told in the first person and mostly in the present tense, begins prenatally. Mother leaves Belle's dad; the child is born on her grandparents' sheep ranch. At a tender age, she is packed off to boarding school because Mum wants to be a drummer. Together with Belle's Aunt Marie, Mum earns an uncertain living playing big-band golden oldies in backwater towns. After years in a seedy boarding house, Mum and Belle move into their own home, but here Belle feels even more displaced. Unconventional Mum turns the house into a hostel for the wandering young of the counterculture 70's. ''I return home each day to a house always in flux,'' Belle mourns. ''I am the stranger in need of a center.'' Belle moves out, gets a job as a research librarian, meets a man called Seb. ''Thinking I might at this point find my missing center we achieve a quiet marriage attended by four other archivists and six cataloguers.'' Seb is not, of course, going to work out. It is here, with this flat and joyless union, that the reader begins to experience profound disbelief. Belle has described herself as pale and frail, a photographic ''negative,'' but this is scarcely a tale told by a tepid and suppressed minimalist. Belle's voice is rich, observant, critical, caustic. This voice sweeps on, noticing, recording, complaining, annihilating punctuation, ignoring grammar, making feminist pronouncements, all the while crying, ''Me, me, me.'' We never learn much about Mum the drummer (a pity, she seemed so promising); Belle's search for her father ends dismally; and as for Seb, awful Seb, the macho librarian, our heroine's main complaint is that - get this - he wanted her to cook dinner..." --New York Times." ;
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