Title: Bright & Distant Shores Author: SMITH DOMINIC Format: PAPERBACK Publication date: 25/01/2017 Imprint: ALLEN & UNWIN Price: $23.00 Publishing status: Active
Shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year and The Vance Palmer Prize..They were showing the savages on the rooftop--that was the word at the kerbstone...Set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific, Bright and Distant Shores is both a sweeping epic and a triumph of lyrical storytelling. Chicago First Equitable has won the race to construct the world's tallest building and its president, Hale Gray, hits upon a surefire way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life 'savages'. He sponsors a South Seas voyage to collect not only weaponry and artefacts, but also 'several natives related by blood' for the company's rooftop spectacle. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans: Owen Graves, the voyage's head trader from Chicago's South Side, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in Melanesia--two young men haunted by their pasts...With echoes of Melville, Doctorow and Carey, Bright and Distant Shores is at once a remarkable love story and a breathtaking adventure that chronicles the clash of the tribal and the civilised at a pivotal moment in history. An extraordinary feat of imagination and storytelling, it will wholly seduce you...'Hugely entertaining . . . One of the most striking new Australian novels I've read in some time, a work suffused by a generous and often joyous humanity, and unafraid to take narrative risks.' James Bradley, The Australian..'An atmospheric, meticulously observed period drama from a footsure and stylish writer with a fine sense of narrative pace.' The Age..'Vivid characterization and a breathless narrative pace create a riveting tale of fragile indigenous communities in pristine places vanishing before the febrile raptor-breath of capitalism . . . evocations of Chicago surprise and delight.' Australian Financial Review..
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