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y separately published work icon Damascus single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Damascus
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'They kill us, they crucify us, they throw us to beasts in the arena, they sew our lips together and watch us starve. They bugger children in front of fathers and violate men before the eyes of their wives. The temple priests flay us openly in the streets and the Judeans stone us. We are hunted everywhere and we are hunted by everyone. We are despised, yet we grow. We are tortured and crucified and yet we flourish. We are hated and still we multiply. Why is that? You must wonder, how is it we survive?

'Christos Tsiolkas' stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope, taking as its subject nothing less than events surrounding the birth and establishment of the Christian church. Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus nevertheless explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, refugees; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided—it's all here, the contemporary and urgent questions, perennial concerns made vivid and visceral.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Exhibitions

17252267
17024129

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 , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 4849439422027440872.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 423p.
      Description: illus., map
      Note/s:
      • Published November 2019.
      ISBN: 9781760875091
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Atlantic Books ,
      2020 .
      image of person or book cover 7366668420963770793.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 432p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 5 march 2020.
      ISBN: 1838950230 (ebook), 9781838950231 (ebook), 1838950214, 9781838950217 (hbk)

Other Formats

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

Works about this Work

From Universal Love to Global Anomie Simon Cooper , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Arena Quarterly , March no. 1 2020; (p. 85)
Beliefs Mattered Then : A Brutal Imagining of the Early Christian Lives in Damascus by Chris Tsiolkas Vernon White , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 17 April 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel

'This novel explodes into life with one of the most arresting openings since Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love. A girl is stoned to death. In many respects it is unlike McEwan’s description of a man falling to his death: the shock is not wrung out in the same slow motion; it is not, primarily, a narrative about the slippery nature of knowledge, ambiguity, responsibility. Instead it is a stark and unambiguous depiction of human brutality towards the despised, the utter failure of empathy. But the same generative power is there. The image sets a course, and a tone, for the rest of the book.' (Introduction)

March in Fiction Michalia Arathimos , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , March 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel ; The Breeding Season Amanda Niehaus , 2019 single work novel ; The Coconut Children Vivian Pham , 2020 extract novel ; Wild Fearless Chests Mandy Beaumont , 2020 selected work short story ; Cherry Beach Laura McPhee-Browne , 2020 single work novel
Letter to the Australians Jessica Gildersleeve , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel

'In an interview that followed the publication of his 2013 novel Barracuda, Christos Tsiolkas declared that he ‘learnt to feel Australian by travelling to Europe’.¹ It’s a sentiment perhaps best expressed in Dead Europe (2005), a novel in which to be Australian is repeatedly compared to naivety or childishness. Such expressions suggest that for Tsiolkas, we can only understand Australian national identity in relief, an idea hearkening back to the earliest definitions of the nation made by its colonisers and continuing throughout Australia’s migrant and multicultural history.' (Introduction)

Australia in Three Books Rick Morton , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel ; The Road from Coorain Jill Ker Conway , 1989 single work autobiography ; Staying : A Memoir Jessie Cole , 2018 single work autobiography

'For the longest time, the Australia I knew was all myth. Early reading didn’t dispel this languid stereotype because part of that upbringing was made possible only by the claustrophobia of the culture itself. It was a narrow existence, filled with outback hardship or romance novels, bush memoirs (how embarrassing that I appear to have done the same thing) and writers from America or worse, England. In short, the authors I knew were not a representative sample of this country. This is not a problem if your range is bigger and broader, but to the extent that my range left my cultural Umwelt at all, it stopped at Not Without My Daughter. Life, then, is about pushing back the borders of our observable universe. Especially when such a quest reveals much about the place we call home.' (Introduction)

A Long Road Geordie Williamson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2 November 2019; (p. 17)

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel

'Christos Tsiolkas’s new novel, an unflinching take on Christianity, is the work for which he will be best remembered, writes Geordie Williamson'

Heat and Succour Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January / February no. 418 2020; (p. 38)

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel

'The man traditionally held to have written about half of the New Testament is variously known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle, and St Paul. Initially an enthusiastic persecutor of the earliest Christians, he underwent a dramatic conversion shortly after the Crucifixion, and it is on this moment that his life, and Christos Tsiolkas’s new novel, both turn. Damascus covers the period 35–87 CE, from shortly before Paul’s conversion until twenty or more years after his death. This chronology is not straightforwardly linear, with an assortment of narrators recounting their personal experiences, at various times and from various points of view, of Christianity’s birth and spread amid the brutal realities of the Roman Empire.' (Introduction)

Jack Stanton Reviews Damascus by Christos Tsiolkas Jack Stanton , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , December no. 24 2019;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel
'Damascus seems to be a departure for Christos Tsiolkas. The previous novels of the celebrated Melbourne writer mostly inhabit contemporary Australia and Europe. But that being said, Damascus, as the title suggests, travels back to the life of Saul of Tarsus, or Paul the Apostle, a wrathful persecutor of Christ’s early disciples in Jerusalem who was visited by a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. He seems to be playing a different tune from the modern day thematics of, say, Barracuda, his last novel-length offering, which was published in 2013 and told the story of Daniel Kelly, an Ian Thorpe-tier swimmer who crumbled under the immense pressure of national pride, a book that, on the surface, bore all the scars of a potboiler. Indeed I had felt reservations about the book until I read Julieanne Lamond’s essay “The Australian Face: Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas” in Sydney Review of Books.' (Introduction)
Australia in Three Books Rick Morton , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel ; The Road from Coorain Jill Ker Conway , 1989 single work autobiography ; Staying : A Memoir Jessie Cole , 2018 single work autobiography

'For the longest time, the Australia I knew was all myth. Early reading didn’t dispel this languid stereotype because part of that upbringing was made possible only by the claustrophobia of the culture itself. It was a narrow existence, filled with outback hardship or romance novels, bush memoirs (how embarrassing that I appear to have done the same thing) and writers from America or worse, England. In short, the authors I knew were not a representative sample of this country. This is not a problem if your range is bigger and broader, but to the extent that my range left my cultural Umwelt at all, it stopped at Not Without My Daughter. Life, then, is about pushing back the borders of our observable universe. Especially when such a quest reveals much about the place we call home.' (Introduction)

Letter to the Australians Jessica Gildersleeve , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 79 no. 1 2020;

— Review of Damascus Christos Tsiolkas , 2019 single work novel

'In an interview that followed the publication of his 2013 novel Barracuda, Christos Tsiolkas declared that he ‘learnt to feel Australian by travelling to Europe’.¹ It’s a sentiment perhaps best expressed in Dead Europe (2005), a novel in which to be Australian is repeatedly compared to naivety or childishness. Such expressions suggest that for Tsiolkas, we can only understand Australian national identity in relief, an idea hearkening back to the earliest definitions of the nation made by its colonisers and continuing throughout Australia’s migrant and multicultural history.' (Introduction)

Shame, Squalor and the Birth of the Christian Church: Christos Tsiolkas's Wild Ride to Damascus David Marr , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 8 November 2019;

'Thomas, Timothy and the ‘miserably homosexual’ Paul are rendered real in Tsiolkas’s new book. But it’s more than just an epic of sex in the ancient world.' (Introduction)

y separately published work icon Christos Tsiolkas on 'Damascus' Astrid Edwards (interviewer), Melbourne : Bad Producer Productions , 2019 18443040 2019 single work interview podcast

'Christos Tsiolkas is one of Australia's most courageous writers. He has published six novels, several of which have been adapted for the screen. Damascus (2019) is his latest work.

'Christos is best known for Loaded (1995), which became the movie Head On, and The Slap (2008) was turned into an Australian and U.S. television miniseries after it won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.

'Christos is also a playwright, essayist, screen writer and film critic. His other works include Dead Europe (2005), which won the Age Fiction Prize and the Melbourne Best Writing Award, and The Jesus Man (1999). His critical literary study On Patrick White came out in 2018.'

Source: The Garret.

Damascene Subversion James Boyce , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , December/January no. 162 2019; (p. 77-90)
'There is no more significant figure in the history of the Christian Church than the 1st-century Jewish teacher and tentmaker, Saul of Tarsus (commonly known by his Latin name of Paul). Despite not personally knowing the Galilean crucified as a political prisoner on a Roman cross nearly 2000 years ago, St Paul is considered an apostle of Jesus Christ, equal in status to the original 12 and arguably above even Peter, James and John in his influence on the early religious movement that would become Christianity.' (Introduction)
The Best Books of 2019 for Your Summer Reading List Claire Nichols , Sarah L'Estrange , Kate Evans , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , December 2019;

'Whether you're poolside balancing a book with an icy beverage, stealing moments between waves at the beach or catching up on the couch after Christmas, this list of favourites from ABC RN's book experts has got you covered.' (Introduction)

Tsiolkas Novel ‘Damascus’ Wins Victorian Premier’s Literary Award 2020 single work column
— Appears in: Neos Kosmos , January 2020;

'Christos Tsiolkas won the fiction category prize of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for 2020 on Thursday for his critically acclaimed historical novel Damascus which is set in the early years of Christianity and centres around the conversion of St Paul.'

 (Introduction)

Last amended 7 Oct 2020 11:06:44
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