Ransom David Malouf
2011 Shortlist

Ransom

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

In this exquisite gem of a novel, Achilles is maddened by grief at the death of his friend Patroclus. From the walls of Troy, King Priam watches the body of his son, Hector, being dragged behind Achilles’ chariot. There must be a way, he thinks, of reclaiming the body – of pitting compromise against heroics, new ways against the old, and of forcing the hand of fate. Dressed simply and in a cart pulled by a mule, an old man sets off for the Greek camp…

Malouf’s fable engraves the epic themes of the Trojan war onto a perfect miniature – themes of war and heroics, hubris and humanity, chance and fate, the bonds between soldiers, fathers and sons, all newly burnished and brilliantly recast for our times. 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR David
Malouf

David Malouf was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1934 to a Lebanese-Christian father and English-Jewish mother.

He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1955. He lectured for a short period before moving to London, where he taught at Holland Park Comprehensive School before relocating to Birkenhead in 1962. He returned to Australia in 1968 and lectured at the University of Sydney. He became a full-time writer in 1978. His first two published books were both collections of poetry: Bicycle and Other Poems (1970) and Neighbours in a Thicket: Poems (1974). His first novel, Johnno (1975), is the semi-autobiographical tale of a young man growing up in Brisbane during the Second World War, a period in Malouf’s life that he later wrote about in his memoir 12 Edmondstone Street (1985). His second novel, An Imaginary Life (1978), is a fictional life of the poet Ovid, exiled from Rome by the Emperor Augustus in 8 A.D. and sent to live in exile among the Scythians on the Black Sea. Child’s Play with Eustace & The Prowler (1982) consists of a novel about terrorism and two short narratives, while Fly Away Peter (1982) contrasts the idyllic setting of a bird sanctuary on the Queensland coast with the horrors of the First World War.

Later novels include Harland’s Half Acre (1985), the story of an artist living in a remote area and his attempt to recover his family’s past through the land; The Great World (1990), which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (France) and tells the story of two Australians imprisoned by the Japanese during the Second World War; and the acclaimed Remembering Babylon (1993), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and won the first International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book).

David Malouf was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1934 to a Lebanese-Christian father and English-Jewish mother.

He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1955. He lectured for a short period before moving to London, where he taught at Holland Park Comprehensive School before relocating to Birkenhead in 1962. He returned to Australia in 1968 and lectured at the University of Sydney. He became a full-time writer in 1978. His first two published books were both collections of poetry: Bicycle and Other Poems (1970) and Neighbours in a Thicket: Poems (1974). His first novel, Johnno (1975), is the semi-autobiographical tale of a young man growing up in Brisbane during the Second World War, a period in Malouf’s life that he later wrote about in his memoir 12 Edmondstone Street (1985). His second novel, An Imaginary Life (1978), is a fictional life of the poet Ovid, exiled from Rome by the Emperor Augustus in 8 A.D. and sent to live in exile among the Scythians on the Black Sea. Child’s Play with Eustace & The Prowler (1982) consists of a novel about terrorism and two short narratives, while Fly Away Peter (1982) contrasts the idyllic setting of a bird sanctuary on the Queensland coast with the horrors of the First World War.

Later novels include Harland’s Half Acre (1985), the story of an artist living in a remote area and his attempt to recover his family’s past through the land; The Great World (1990), which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (France) and tells the story of two Australians imprisoned by the Japanese during the Second World War; and the acclaimed Remembering Babylon (1993), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and won the first International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, as well as the Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book).

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
07/10/2010
Country
Australia
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Vintage

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