Writers at Stanton - Trent Dalton

20-Jun-2018 • 1pm

Boy Swallows Universe

Boy Swallows Universe is a captivating coming-of-age story set in Brisbane’s violent working-class suburban fringe, inspired by the reallife events of journalist Trent Dalton’s complicated youth.
Dalton’s debut novel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Eli Bell who finds comfort in his extraordinary imagination as a means of escaping from his complicated life with a mute brother, a mother in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. 
Surrounded by chaos and with very little moral guidance from the adults around him, Eli sets out on an ambitious suburban odyssey that sees him break into Boggo Road Gaol to rescue his mum, meet the father he doesn’t remember, come face-to-face with the criminals who tore his world apart, and fall in love with the girl of his dreams.    
At its core, Boy Swallows Universe is a story of brotherhood and the spark of young love; it’s also the unlikely true story of the formative friendship Dalton shared with Arthur ‘Slim’ Halliday, the greatest escape artist ever confined to Brisbane’s Boggo Road Gaol.
A surprising, funny and tender novel that captures both the light and shade of Australian suburbia and reminds us that, with a little imagination, even lost souls can change their fate.