'Eyrie tells the story of Tom Keely, a man who’s lost his bearings in middle age and is now holed up in a flat at the top of a grim highrise, looking down on the world he’s fallen out of love with. He’s cut himself off, until one day he runs into some neighbours: a woman he used to know when they were kids, and her introverted young boy. The encounter shakes him up in a way he doesn’t understand. Despite himself, Keely lets them in. What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting – populated by unforgettable characters. It asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing..' (Publisher's blurb)
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
'This article explores the ethical concept of the neighbour, an idea central to the fiction of Tim Winton. The first part focuses on how the ghosts in Cloudstreet symbolize an Australian culture haunted by the injustices of colonization, especially the dispossession of the Indigenous people. The second part looks at the paradox of being commanded to love one’s neighbour, comparing an early story, “Neighbours”, to Winton’s recent novel Eyrie. The third part looks at Winton’s ethics of neighbourliness in light of recent critical reworkings of this concept by Slavoj Žižek and Kenneth Reinhard. Central to this section is the importance of time and place to the ethics of the neighbour, in particular the repeated insistence by both Winton and his critics that, rather than focusing on the past, we should acknowledge the neighbour who stands before us in the here and now.' (Introduction)
'Tim Winton’s fiction has divided critics. His writing has been characterised as nostalgic (Dixon), as too Christian (Goldsworthy), as blokey, and even misogynist (Schürholz). He has been pilloried on the blog site Worst of Perth, with its ‘Wintoning Project,’ which calls for contributions of ‘Australian or Western Australian schmaltz, in the style of our most famous literary son, master dispenser of literary cheese and fake WA nostalgia Tim Winton’ (online). And he has won the top Australian literary prize, The Miles Franklin Award, four times (Shallows, 1984; Cloudstreet, 1992; Dirt Music, 2002; and Breath, 2009). Winton’s oeuvre spans three decades. It remains highly recognisable in its use of Australian vernacular and its sun-filled, beachy Western Australian settings; but it has also taken some dramatic, dark and probingly self-questioning turns. While critics often look for common strands in an author’s oeuvre, it is revealing to consider developments and changes between individual works. How do the darker, more abject elements of Winton’s imaginative visions relate to the ‘wholesome’ if macho Aussie surfer image, or to the writer of plenitude somehow embarrassing to critics?' (Author's introduction)
'Tim Winton is arguably Australia's most widely read contemporary novelist. His books have been translated into eighteen languages, adapted for television, stage and film, and won him Australia's most prestigious literary award - the Miles Franklin Award - four times. In 2013, Winton published his eleventh novel, Eyrie (Penguin, 2013). The book follows Tom Keely, a man who spends his days alone in a stuffy flat of a tan-brick apartment block in the middle of Fremantle, unemployed, disgraced, divorced, gradually drinking himself into oblivion. His solitude is disrupted by a meeting with his neighbour, Gemma - a woman he hasn't seen since she was a little girl from the end of the street, running away from chaos at home. Gemma and her grandson, Kai, force Keely into an entanglement with ugly, difficult things. The book, at once a personal story, is also a harsh reflection of Western Australia during the mining boom and the changes it wrought to the state's cultural and political priorities. In this interview, from different sides of the world, Winton discusses Eyrie, the importance of Western Australia in his work and the relationship between the popular and the literary in Australian publishing.' (Publication abstract)
'Five years after his last novel, Tim Winton's Eyrie is out today. Billy Rule catches up with the world-acclaimed author - voted our most beloved novelist - on his home turf.'
'The master of landscape turns his eye on a city and a man, both showing the ravages of age...'