Alex Miller has been a prominent Australian author for some time now and I am aware of this. But I have only just discovered him myself. Better late than never I guess especially when you are rewarded with such beautiful writing as his.
Landscape of Farewell (2007) is the first of his that I have read only this week. It is a poetic and moving story of two old men sharing a shack in the Australian outback, while trying to come to terms with the loss of their wives, as well as sorting out the shameful curse of their very different family stories.
Lovesong (2009) is one of the books on this year’s list for the Summer Read organised by the State Library of Victoria. I had read a brief review somewhere and immediately wanted to read it, mostly because it begins in a cafe on the outskirts of Paris. Anything about France and I am sold. So far I love it. Our library staff are reading the books on the Summer Read list so that we can be well informed for our customers.
I am aware of his other novels and know he is a prize winner, so he was an author on my mental list of must-reads. I am delightfully surprised to find he writes beautiful, gentle stories that are cleverly woven around love, family, landscape, and culture. He explores the human relationship in all its complexities, especially where cultures collide. You quickly warm to his very human characters.
Reading his stories now is pertinent for me because I am living in a landscape that is new and foreign to me, while also having left important family members behind. I too am missing loved ones while trying to adjust to an unfamiliar new life. His stories resonate within me in a profound way.