'This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists.
'He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home.
'It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond.
'The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families.
'Written in Joan London's customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia's finest novelists. ' (Publication summary)
Writing Disability in Australia:
|Type of disability||Poliomyelitis.|
|Type of character||Primary.|
|Point of view||Third person.|
'The routine is punctuated by visits or the occasional glimmer of an event, such as when the Queen drives by on her visit to Australia and the children glimpse "an arm in a long white glove, waving back and forward like something mechanical" (148). On the way here, Mrs. Jewell had even driven down North Street, and through the back window of the ambulance she'd glimpsed her house, small and crouched, blinds pulled down for the heat as if it slept" (132). While the novel's graceful poeticism is the opposite of polemical, a reader cannot help but consider the ongoing debate over vaccines and the reappearance of polio, including cases of polio-like paralysis in the United States.' (Publication abstract)