3146201431384440231.jpg
Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y Joyful single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014 2014
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Tess Wachowicz is a woman of great beauty and accomplishment. Her second marriage at the age of forty to Leon Joyce, a privately wealthy dealer in fine and rare books, puzzles her friends and admirerers. Tess is famously libidinous; Leon is asexual. The assumption is that Tess has made an ‘arrangement’ with Leon, but the arrangement is stranger than anyone imagines. When Tess falls fatally ill and dies after months of struggle, her husband’s grief drives him to the brink of madness. He retreats to Joyful, an old property in rural Victoria, once the site of an utopian community run by his great-aunt. There, Leon faces harrowing secrets kept from him by Tess, and also uncovers the hidden life of the long-ago utopian community.

'Leon’s grief and sense of betrayal is mirrored in the concurrent story of Emmanuel Delli and his wife Daanya, Kurds who adopted Australia after the Gulf War to escape the nightmare of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Emmanuel arrived in Australia with an international reputation in Mesopotamian studies; Daanya is a pediatrician. Their daughter Sofia, a musical protégé of Tess Wachowicz, takes her own life in a Melbourne hotel after the failure of an ill-advised relationship with her father’s closest friend. Emmanuel experiences his daughter’s death as a betrayal of his love for her, and like Leon, he is driven close to madness.

'Circumstances eventually bring Leon and Emmanuel face-to-face at Joyful, where their separate struggles to overcome grief and betrayal merge, and find resolution.' (Source: Author's website)

Notes

  • Dedication: To Ann Dillon
  • Epigraph:

    Beauty is certainly

    a soft, smooth, slippery

    thing, and therefore of

    a nature which easily slips

    in and permeates our souls.

    For I affirm that the good

    is the beautiful.

    –Plato, in Lysis

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Tess the Obscure Kari Gislason , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 361 2014; (p. 56)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
A Beautiful Wife, An Ugly Truth Helen Elliott , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 June 2014; (p. 41)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Rereaved Men Go to the Brink in Ned Kelly Country Geordie Williamson , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 June 2014; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Review : Joyful Heather Lunney , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , July 2014; (p. 38)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Tess the Obscure Kari Gislason , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 361 2014; (p. 56)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
A Beautiful Wife, An Ugly Truth Helen Elliott , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 June 2014; (p. 41)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Rereaved Men Go to the Brink in Ned Kelly Country Geordie Williamson , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 June 2014; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Review : Joyful Heather Lunney , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , July 2014; (p. 38)

— Review of Joyful Robert Hillman 2014 single work novel
Last amended 25 Jun 2014 11:28:35
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