Australia’s most fearless contemporary author Christos Tsiolkas channelled his experience of literary success into his new novel Barracuda, about a young competitive swimmer who discovers the hard way what it takes to become a good person.
“THIS will be the hardest book you will ever have to write coming after The Slap,” Australian author
Michelle de Kretser wrote in a letter to Christos Tsiolkas about his new book Barracuda.
For Tsiolkas writing a new book after the success of The Slap – an international bestseller awarded the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book – in a strange way was like writing a first novel, he says.
“I thought I’d found a particular space from which to work in, and that space was an outsider looking in.
“Suddenly The Slap put me right in the centre. And that was disorientating to write about for a period.”
Despite being praised as one of the best and most important contemporary novelists of today, after writing The Slap, which explored modern day Australia with an intensity and authenticity that didn’t loosen its grip on the reader, Tsiolkas still questioned if he was any good.
“It didn’t matter how much The Slap had sold, or what the critiques had been, I still thought ‘am I good?’ And I think that voice as a writer never completely goes away, it’s a part of what you have to deal with.”
Tsiolkas was offered a three-month residency on the west coast of Scotland, where he began writing Barracuda, his fifth novel.