Christos Tsiolkas, the son of Greek migrants, lived in a working class, predominantly Greek, Melbourne inner city suburb and attended state schools including Blackburn High School. He completed an Arts degree at the University of Melbourne in 1987 and has worked as writer and artist. His interest in film is evidenced in his writing the first monograph in Currency Press's Australian Film Classics series on Schepisi's film, The Devil's Playground, and his writing and directing of short films. He has also collaborated with photographer Zoe Ali on a series of exhibitions dealing with refuge and exile: Destination Unknown 1, 2 & 3, and on a Blake Prize 2011 shortlisted work 'A New Jeuasalem: Faith and the City', combining Ali's photographs of places of worship in Melbourne with texts from the Bible, Koran and Torah with his own writing on contemporary life and faith.
'A collection of thrilling, original and imaginative stories from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Slap and Barracuda - a showcase all of his immense and unique story-telling talents.
'Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice and revelation...
'This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed bestselling international writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you deep into worlds both strange and familiar, and characters that will never let you go.' (Publication summary)
'He asked the water to lift him, to carry him, to avenge him. He made his muscles shape his fury, made every stroke declare his hate. And the water obeyed; the water would give him his revenge. No one could beat him, no one came close.
'His whole life Danny Kelly's only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he's ever done - every thought, every dream, every action - takes him closer to that moment of glory, of vindication, when the world will see him for what he is: the fastest, the strongest and the best. His life has been a preparation for that moment.
'His parents struggle to send him to the most prestigious private school with the finest swimming program; Danny loathes it there and is bullied and shunned as an outsider, but his coach is the best and knows Danny is, too, better than all those rich boys, those pretenders. Danny's win-at-all-cost ferocity gradually wins favour with the coolest boys - he's Barracuda, he's the psycho, he's everything they want to be but don't have the guts to get there. He's going to show them all.
'He would be first, everything would be alright when he came first, all would be put back in place. When he thought of being the best, only then did he feel calm.
'A searing and provocative novel by the acclaimed author of the international bestseller The Slap, Barracuda is an unflinching look at modern Australia, at our hopes and dreams, our friendships, and our families.
'Should we teach our children to win, or should we teach them to live? How do we make and remake our lives? Can we atone for our past? Can we overcome shame? And what does it mean to be a good person?
'Barracuda is about living in Australia right now, about class and sport and politics and migration and education. It contains everything a person is: family and friendship and love and work, the identities we inhabit and discard, the means by which we fill the holes at our centre. It's brutal and tender and blazingly brilliant; everything we have come to expect from this fearless vivisector of our lives and world. ' (Publisher's blurb)