Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Boy Behind the Curtain - Tim Winton’s most personal book to date

The Boy Behind the Curtain
Tim Winton
Hamish Hamilton - Hardback - $45.00

When I was a kid I liked to stand at the window with a rifle and aim it at people . . . Lurking
there behind my parents’ curtain I put a gun between myself and the world. I reduced my neighbours to objects, made targets of them. Anything could have happened, none of it good. And just in time, it would seem, before anything irreparable could come of this impulse, I found words. God knows I was a happier, safer boy once I did.


This volume of 22 extraordinarily powerful essays (some never published) collectively form a rare insight into the real life events and characters who have coloured and peopled Tim Winton’s writing over the past 35 years.
From early experiences including a hilariously memorable family road-trip and a catastrophic first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of eight, to the profound impact of his father’s, and his own, horrific road accident and his family’s active Christian faith, Winton pays tribute to the influences that have first and foremost shaped him and fueled his distinctive voice. 

And in writing about class, fundamentalism, asylum seekers, guns and the natural world, Winton presents the concerns that have made him the writer he is, and also reveals how his life and his work are inextricably entwined.

For someone so notoriously guarded of his private life, The Boy Behind the Curtain reveals a surprisingly intimate, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, portrait of the author as son, brother,husband, father and grandfather.

About the author:
Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most acclaimed writers, thinkers and essayists. He is the author of 28 books and three plays. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Monthly, The New Statesman, Prospect, The Los Angeles Times, The London
Review of Books and The Economist/Intelligent Life.
Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music).
Photo credit - Hank Kordas

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