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y separately published work icon The Life to Come single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 The Life to Come
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.

'Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

'Profoundly moving as well as bitingly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present.' (Synopsis)

Notes

  • For Chris

    and in memory of faithful Oliver

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 6141072204046200745.jpg
      This image has been sourced from publisher's website
      Extent: 384p.
      Note/s:
      • Published October 2017

      ISBN: 9781760296568
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6064147501620543403.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 384p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date 02 August 2018

      ISBN: 9781760296711
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Catapult Press ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6186007941571763710.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 344p.
      Reprinted: 2019 (paperback)
      Note/s:
      • Publication Date: 13 March 2018

      ISBN: 9781936787821, 9781948226158 (pbk), 1948226154 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Allen and Unwin UK ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6912114630593321558.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 192p.p.
      ISBN: 9781925575415, 1925575411

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.
  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.

Works about this Work

Where We Have Been, Are, Will Be Richard Carr , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 33 no. 1 2019; (p. 167-169)

— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel

'Pippa Reynolds is a novelist on the rise, one who draws greater critical and popular attention with each work. Exhaustive in her artistry, she carries a notebook everywhere she goes, jotting down scraps from other people's lives, meanings for unfamiliar words, observed details of place and space.  Her husband's musical background and his way of speaking "with the force of poetry" are his chief charms. Pippa asserts, "He'll be good for my writing" (188). She eyes a future of winning awards. Pippa is ambitious, willing to work hard, determined; in fact, she has "everything needed for greatness except talent" (205).' (Introduction)

Anxieties of Obsolescence and Transformation : Digital Technology in Contemporary Australian Literary Fiction Julian Novitz , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 57 2019;

'When addressing the rise of mass media, literary authors of the late twentieth century often expressed an ‘anxiety of obsolescence’ (Fitzpatrick 2006) in their work: an acute awareness of being potentially displaced. This often led them to adopt an attitude of defiance in the face of technological change.

'Many contemporary literary authors adopt a similar oppositional attitude towards the rise and encroachment of networked technology, but retreating to the increasingly peripheral territory of ‘pure’ print-based literature is no longer easy. Digital technology presents not only the possibility of displacement but also that of transformation, with its spread threatening to fundamentally alter the practice of reading and writing.

'Possibly in response to the radical upheavals faced by Australian literary culture due to the rise of electronic publishing since 2012, recent works by three established Australian authors – Amnesia by Peter Carey (2014), the Wisdom Tree novella sequence by Nick Earls (2016), and The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (2017) – examine the ways in which networked technologies challenge or complicate the role, identity and practice of the contemporary print-oriented writer. The telling connection is that they present the relationship between print-based writers and networked technology as being transformative rather than simply oppositional, demonstrating the emergence of complex and nuanced responses to the rise of networked technology in Australian literature.' (Publication abstract)

y separately published work icon The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser Jessica Zibung , Melbourne : CAE Book Group , 2019 16682039 2019 single work criticism
What I’m Reading Nigel Featherstone , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2018;
'The Life to Come' by Michelle de Kretser Delia Falconer , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 149 2018; (p. 62)
'Pastures Where There Was Red Dust' : Caustic Playfulness in Michelle de Krester's New Novel Beejay Silcox , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 395 2017; (p. 18-19)

— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel

'Humans are narrative creatures. We tell stories to make sense of ourselves, but our stories – be they historical, political, fictional, or personal – shape us as much as we shape them. In the service of narrative expediency, we often sacrifice nuance. We turn chance to prophecy, and accidents into choices. We justify and excuse ourselves. We anoint heroes and villains. As novelist Michelle de Kretser warns, it is ‘frighteningly easy’ to turn the people around us into characters and to forget that: ‘The only life in which you play a leading role is your own.’ De Kretser’s new novel, The Life to Come, cleverly exposes the perils of narrative egocentrism by refusing to create a centre. Rather, she splits the book into five distinct sections that overlay rather than interconnect, and in which human complexity is privileged over narrative simplicity.' (Introduction)

Fictive Selves: The Life to Come James Ley , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , December 2017;

— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel

'Near the end of Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come, an elderly woman named Christabel throws two novels she has been reading into the bin. One of them is by a writer named George Meshaw, whose work ‘concerned itself with the brutal and inadequate mechanism of the world. As if that were any kind of news!’ The other is by Pippa Reynolds, a contemporary version of the ‘silly lady novelist’ who once attracted the withering disapproval of George Eliot.' (Introduction)

April in Fiction Michalia Arathimos , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , March 2018;

— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel ; The Best Australian Stories 2017 2017 anthology short story ; The Fish Girl Mirandi Riwoe , 2017 single work novella
Where We Have Been, Are, Will Be Richard Carr , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 33 no. 1 2019; (p. 167-169)

— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel

'Pippa Reynolds is a novelist on the rise, one who draws greater critical and popular attention with each work. Exhaustive in her artistry, she carries a notebook everywhere she goes, jotting down scraps from other people's lives, meanings for unfamiliar words, observed details of place and space.  Her husband's musical background and his way of speaking "with the force of poetry" are his chief charms. Pippa asserts, "He'll be good for my writing" (188). She eyes a future of winning awards. Pippa is ambitious, willing to work hard, determined; in fact, she has "everything needed for greatness except talent" (205).' (Introduction)

[Review Essay] The Life to Come JR , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 7-13 October no. 177 2017;

'Pippa used to be Narelle when she lived up north with her mum. She changed her name the day she turned 18 because she was convinced that no one named Narelle could ever win the Booker. And Pippa desperately wanted to win the Booker. She still does. For as long as she can remember she has wanted to be a writer – a successful writer.' (Introduction)

Shadow Play Geordie Williamson , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7 October 2017; (p. 20)

'Among the subversive pleasures of Paul Theroux’s travel writing are his intermittent encounters with Australians. To use the local vernacular, he hates our guts.Over the decades, Theroux has happened across us everywhere — mountain highways, city parks, remote deserts, tropical islands — and invariably he finds us tanned, crude and vapid. Our presence affronts his efforts to venture forth in the bazaar of the global exotic, unmolested by the ordinary.“The Australian Book of Etiquette is a very slim volume,’’ he writes at one point. After one night on a train, closely confined with a batch of Aussie backpackers, he calls their company ‘‘a reminder that I’d touched bottom’’.Theroux doesn’t get Australians. We pop up in the most outlandish places, like some noxious weed. We move bravely through the world, but always in a bubble of unthinking privilege. We are inveterate wanderers, though in Theroux’s cantankerous view also rubes who don’t understand or appreciate the places we go. Why, he seems to be asking, do we bother?' (Introduction)

'We Are Not Very Caring’ : Michelle de Kretser on Australian Society Brigid Delaney , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 11 November 2017;

'Children of Australia’s long boom – who travel the world only to complain about lack of good coffee, who signal virtue by retweeting an asylum seeker story, who couldn’t imagine living in a house with only one bathroom, who are “really into food” – may find Michelle de Kretser’s new book an uncomfortable read.'(Introduction)

Michelle de Kretser on The Life to Come 2018 single work interview
— Appears in: The Stella Interviews 2018;

'Michelle de Kretser is shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize. In this special Stella interview, Michelle shares her favourite Australian women writers from the recent past and what inspired The Life to Come.' (Introduction)

Provocative, Political, Speculative : Your Guide to the 2018 Stella Shortlist Camilla Nelson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 11 April 2018;

'Six years ago, The Stella Prize burst onto the Australian literary scene with an air of urgency. The A$50,000 award was the progeny of the Stella Count – a campaign highlighting the under-representation of women authors in book reviews and awards lists. In the years since, the prize has challenged the gendered ways in which we think about “significance” and “seriousness” in literature.' (Introduction)

Last amended 13 Jul 2021 10:44:24
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    Sri Lanka,
    c
    South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • Paris,
    c
    France,
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    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Sydney, New South Wales,
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