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Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Looking Backwards
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'Steven Carroll has now written five novels based on his experiences as a child in Glenroy, the suburb on the northwestern edge of Melbourne. The first, The Art of the Engine Driver, was a kind of hymn to the people of the raw suburbs of the 1950s, a suburban Under Milk Wood, and a determined correction of the dismissal of suburban life as philistine and unworthy of attention. Central to the novel was a young boy called Michael and his parents, the engine driver Vic and the sales demonstrator Rita. The novel followed their thoughts and memories over a single summer night, as they walked to and from a neighbourhood party, in a series of meditations broken only by the brief drama of the party. The Gift of Speed and The Time We Have Taken returned to these people, slowly building a fuller picture of the limits on their lives and ambitions, and shifting focus to later years (1961, 1967). Vic and Rita’s changing relationship provided the main structural strand, but each novel commenced in the context of a public or national moment – the 1961 tour of the West Indian cricket team for The Gift of Speed, the growing support for Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party for The Time We Have Taken. Michael’s increasing independence from his parents and his growing understanding of the world around him made his consciousness dominant by the third novel.' (Introduction)          

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Inside Story June 2015 12547495 2015 periodical issue 2015
Last amended 13 Oct 2023 12:11:43 Looking Backwardssmall AustLit logo Inside Story
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