AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 7041202210512357397.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon The Bridge single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 The Bridge
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Did the dead exist? Were they watching? Were they ghosts? Not the kind he’d imagined as a child, draped with white sheets, with the ability to walk through walls, but the kind that lodged themselves in your heart, in your memories, the kind that came to you in dreams, that you could see when you closed your eyes and sometimes even when your eyes were opened.

'In 1970s Melbourne, 22-year-old Italian migrant Antonello is newly married and working as a rigger on the West Gate Bridge, a gleaming monument to a modern city. When the bridge collapses one October morning, killing 35 of his workmates, his world crashes down on him.

'In 2009, Jo and her best friend, Ashleigh, are on the verge of finishing high school and flush with the possibilities for their future. But one terrible mistake sets Jo’s life on a radically different course.

'Drawing on true events of Australia’s worst industrial accident — a tragedy that still scars the city — The Bridge is a profoundly moving novel that examines class, guilt, and moral culpability. Yet it shows that even the most harrowing of situations can give way to forgiveness and redemption. Ultimately, it is a testament to survival and the resilience of the human spirit.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Notes

  • Dedication: For the men who built the West Gate Bridge : the victims and the survivors

    For Teresa Corcoran (1959-2005)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Scribe , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 7041202210512357397.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 384p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 14 May 2018.

      ISBN: 9781925713015

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

The Fig Tree and the Writer Enza Gandolfo , 2019 single work prose
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , September 2019;

'I write on a laptop, at the kitchen table, even though there’s a perfectly functional study at the front of the house. Looking up from the screen, I’m facing north, gazing through the glass doors to the small courtyard, to the fig tree. The fig tree is netted in the late summer as part of our ongoing battle with the local birds and rats over the sweet juicy fruit that I have been addicted to since childhood. In autumn it begins to discard its leaves until it is a bare, grey-brown skeleton and then it grows them again in spring. By December, its thick shadowy canopy is an oasis under which I can sit with a book and a gin and tonic. This fig tree was grown from a cutting that came from my father-in-law’s tree. That tree was grown from a cutting that made the twenty-nine days trip from Calabria on the ship Australia in 1959. Like the bean seeds sewn into my husband’s toy bear, like the passengers on that ship, that fig tree cutting spawned offspring that are now scattered across the city.' (Introduction)

Six Books that Shock, Delve Deeply and Destroy Pieties : Your Guide to the 2019 Stella Prize Shortlist Camilla Nelson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 8 April 2019;

— Review of Little Gods Jenny Ackland , 2018 single work novel ; The Bridge Enza Gandolfo , 2018 single work novel ; Pink Mountain on Locust Island Jamie Marina Lau , 2018 single work novel ; The Erratics Vicki Laveau-Harvie , 2018 single work autobiography ; Too Much Lip Melissa Lucashenko , 2018 single work novel ; Axiomatic Maria Tumarkin , 2018 single work prose
Coming to Terms with Culpability and Grief in the Face of Catastrophe Julienne Van Loon , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , October vol. 22 no. 2 2018;

— Review of The Bridge Enza Gandolfo , 2018 single work novel

'Enza Gandolfo’s second novel has been many years in the making, but it has been well worth the wait. This is an ambitious, multi-generational story from a skilled writer. Diving into the almost four-hundred-page novel, I was promptly absorbed by its carefully layered plot, its significant cast of troubled characters, and Gandolfo’s strong loyalty to a representation of recent local history that takes in the union movement, post-war European migration to the city of Melbourne, and the very real struggles of raising a family, both with and without the support of extended family.' (Introduction)

Collapse Carol Middleton , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 402 2018; (p. 24-25)

'‘Accidents happen.’ In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, one of two accidents that frame the narrative of The Bridge, these words are tossed up in the turbulent minds of a grieving relative. But accidents, unlike natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, droughts – don’t just happen. Whether it’s the collapse of the Westgate Bridge or a car crash, accidents are due to human error. Lives are cut short; others are damaged irrevocably. The survivors – family, friends, co-workers – struggle, sometimes for a lifetime, with the fallout: where to apportion blame, how to assuage the guilt, how to survive the trauma? These questions permeate The Bridge, consume the grieving characters, and undermine the whole community living in the shadow of the Westgate Bridge. The stuff of tragedy.' (Introduction)

Coming to Terms with Culpability and Grief in the Face of Catastrophe Julienne Van Loon , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , October vol. 22 no. 2 2018;

— Review of The Bridge Enza Gandolfo , 2018 single work novel

'Enza Gandolfo’s second novel has been many years in the making, but it has been well worth the wait. This is an ambitious, multi-generational story from a skilled writer. Diving into the almost four-hundred-page novel, I was promptly absorbed by its carefully layered plot, its significant cast of troubled characters, and Gandolfo’s strong loyalty to a representation of recent local history that takes in the union movement, post-war European migration to the city of Melbourne, and the very real struggles of raising a family, both with and without the support of extended family.' (Introduction)

Six Books that Shock, Delve Deeply and Destroy Pieties : Your Guide to the 2019 Stella Prize Shortlist Camilla Nelson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 8 April 2019;

— Review of Little Gods Jenny Ackland , 2018 single work novel ; The Bridge Enza Gandolfo , 2018 single work novel ; Pink Mountain on Locust Island Jamie Marina Lau , 2018 single work novel ; The Erratics Vicki Laveau-Harvie , 2018 single work autobiography ; Too Much Lip Melissa Lucashenko , 2018 single work novel ; Axiomatic Maria Tumarkin , 2018 single work prose
Collapse Carol Middleton , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 402 2018; (p. 24-25)

'‘Accidents happen.’ In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, one of two accidents that frame the narrative of The Bridge, these words are tossed up in the turbulent minds of a grieving relative. But accidents, unlike natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, droughts – don’t just happen. Whether it’s the collapse of the Westgate Bridge or a car crash, accidents are due to human error. Lives are cut short; others are damaged irrevocably. The survivors – family, friends, co-workers – struggle, sometimes for a lifetime, with the fallout: where to apportion blame, how to assuage the guilt, how to survive the trauma? These questions permeate The Bridge, consume the grieving characters, and undermine the whole community living in the shadow of the Westgate Bridge. The stuff of tragedy.' (Introduction)

The Fig Tree and the Writer Enza Gandolfo , 2019 single work prose
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , September 2019;

'I write on a laptop, at the kitchen table, even though there’s a perfectly functional study at the front of the house. Looking up from the screen, I’m facing north, gazing through the glass doors to the small courtyard, to the fig tree. The fig tree is netted in the late summer as part of our ongoing battle with the local birds and rats over the sweet juicy fruit that I have been addicted to since childhood. In autumn it begins to discard its leaves until it is a bare, grey-brown skeleton and then it grows them again in spring. By December, its thick shadowy canopy is an oasis under which I can sit with a book and a gin and tonic. This fig tree was grown from a cutting that came from my father-in-law’s tree. That tree was grown from a cutting that made the twenty-nine days trip from Calabria on the ship Australia in 1959. Like the bean seeds sewn into my husband’s toy bear, like the passengers on that ship, that fig tree cutting spawned offspring that are now scattered across the city.' (Introduction)

Awards

Last amended 26 Mar 2020 10:10:29
Settings:
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • 1970s
  • 2009
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X