Writers at Stanton - Robert Drewe
06-Sep-2018 • 1pm
The True Colour of the Sea - Robert Drewe
David Lang, eleven years old in The Bodysurfers, now a grandfather welcoming his family for Christmas, returns to the ocean-front hotel that was the venue for a fateful Christmas lunch all those years ago.
A beguiling young woman nurses a baby by a lake while hiding brutal scars. Descendants of a cannibal victim visit the Pacific island of their ancestor’s murder. A whale-watching widow reveals the foibles of her politician husband and a secret gun accident. An elite athlete and his new wife become embroiled in a sensual case of Suburban Noir. A young artist marooned on an island in the Arafura Sea contemplates his survival chances: he understands his desperate plight and the ocean’s unrelenting power. But what is its true colour?
Witty, inventive, touching and razor sharp, the eleven stories of The True Colour of the Sea carry us to many varied coasts. The sea – and how it shapes us as people, as a nation – shimmers beneath the surface of each story. Its lifeforce is seducing, threatening, inspiring. Relationships might be frayed, savaged, regretted or celebrated. Robert Drewe makes a gift of short fiction that tackles the big themes – love, loss, desire, family, masculinity, humanity, ageing, and the life of art. The Tue Colour of the Sea contains all the sparkle for which Drewe’s writing is loved: his powers of observation, wry wit, compassion for human foibles, love of language and his affection for the absurd. His long-awaited return to the short story reaffirms his status as our most accomplished creator of short fiction; covering familiar territory of the bestselling Australian classic The Bodysurfers with even greater wisdom and insight.