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Blue Lake


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I'm here already, in the bleak, awful hour on Dudley Flats in which the final dereliction of Elsie Williams will come to pass. I'm beginning with it, so you won't be under any illusion as to how it ends.

About the Author

David Sornig is the author of the novel Spiel, (UWAP, 2009). His fiction and non-fiction writing has featured in the Griffith Review, Harvard Review, Adelaide Review and Kill Your Darlings. He has lectured in creative writing and literary studies at a number of Australian universities and currently teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Melbourne. His essay 'Jubilee- A Hymn for Elsie Williams on Dudley Flats' was a finalist for the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature Writers Prize and his subsequent work on Blue Lake was supported by a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship. He lives in Melbourne.


`David Sornig's Blue Lake creates a strange and layered depiction of Melbourne over time, told through the history of an overlooked place and its seemingly insignificant inhabitants ... Sornig uses the shifts in time, along with his own personal insights, to contemplate the way a city physically and culturally folds back on its past ... Blue Lake is unusually searching; its indirect nature and focus on memory has traces of the elegance of V.S. Naipaul, W.G. Sebald, and Annie Dillard.' 4.5 STARS -Books+Publishing `A scrubby sludge of lowland seeping through the centuries; three woebegone characters born two World Wars ago: everything nondescript and forgotten. Starting with these apparent dregs, David Sornig confects a wonderment of time travel, factual imagination, and the humane urge to bear witness.' -Ross Gibson, author of 26 Views of the Starburst World and Seven Versions of an Australian Badland `The destruction of the Blue Lake on the fringe of Melbourne has long been a sad symbol for me of the ugly order associated with the European conquest. But Sornig shows how in the "zone" of tameable mud that replaced this wondrous wetland, the soul of the country and an underground freedom miraculously survived.' -James Boyce, author of 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia `Sornig is a precise writer, sometimes lyrical and sometimes direct, with a strong style that houses his many diverse methods of understanding a place he sometimes calls "the Zone".' -Ronnie Scott, >Weekend Australian `David Sornig wants to take you on a walk to where the past and the present seem to co-exist and the ghosts are just as real as the living.' -Barry Reynolds, Herald Sun `His insights and imaginings into the lives of Elsie, Lauder and Jack are tender and illuminating, and ensure the reader, whether they can locate the Zone itself, can know it through its inhabitants.' -The Saturday Paper

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