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Tim Winton was born in Perth in 1960. His work includes novels, collections of stories, non-fiction and books for children. He has won the miles Franklin Award three times, and been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Riders (1995) and Dirt Music (2002).
The anticipation of waiting seven years to slip again into the trance of Winton's wonderland assures a loyal readership for Dirt Music, which is more like The Riders than his earlier work. Georgie Jutland is only pretending to live life in a fishing village when the mysterious Luther Fox falls fatalistically into her path. Luther's past is gut-wrenchingly tragic, while Georgie's is full of bad decisions, and Georgie's partner, town hero and fishing king Jim Buckridge, is grappling with his own demons. We see the three of them struggle with their grief and love against the harsh backdrop of the West Australian coast. Once again, landscape plays a big role in Winton's work and, as always, he brings it alive: taste the dust, feel your skin sting in the searing heat. Beyond mere description, the land and the ocean become living, breathing creatures - each detail observed, from the bark on the trees to the ants on the ground - that nurture or torment the people upon them. Winton's skill with language, his casual way of slipping in unusual words, and painting memorable images, while keeping it so simple, clean and meaningful, is again evident. But, despite the language, Dirt Music is not all enchantment - its trauma and pain linger. Winton's characters are real, flawed by the intricacies of human nature, and just as with the earth, that rawness is exposed. Tim Winton is something very special; a national literary treasure. Joanne Shiells is the assistant editor of AB&P. C. 2001 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
'Written in seemingly effortless prose that never puts a foot wrong' Sunday Times