Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y Island Home : A Landscape Memoir single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Island Home : A Landscape Memoir
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

''I grew up on the world's largest island.'

'This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing.

'For over thirty years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him – rockpools, seacaves, scrub and swamp – was as vital as any other connection. Camping in hidden inlets of the south-east, walking in the high rocky desert fringe, diving at Ningaloo Reef, bobbing in the sea between sets, Winton has felt the place seep into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance, and learned to see landscape as a living process.

'Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.

'Wise, rhapsodic, exalted – Island Home is not just a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, but a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.' (Publication summary)


  • Dedication: for Hannah Rachel Bell
  • Epigraph:

    Turn home, the sun goes down; swimmer, turn home.

    –Judith Wright 'The Surfer'

    My island home is waiting for me

    –Neil Murray,

    'My Island Home'

  • Other formats: Also sound recording. 4 audio discs: 5 hrs 3 mins

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2015 .
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 256p.
      • Published: 23/09/2015
      ISBN: 9781926428741
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Picador ,
      2016 .
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 197p.p.
      Reprinted: 2017
      ISBN: 9781509816910, 1509816917
    • Minneapolis, Minnesota,
      United States of America (USA),
      Milkweed Editions ,
      2017 .
      Extent: 1v.p.
      ISBN: 9781571319586 (ebook), 9781571311245 (paperback)
Alternative title: Inselleben : Mein Australien
Language: German
    • Munich,
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Luchterhand ,
      2017 .
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 222p.p.
      ISBN: 9783630875477, 3630875475

Works about this Work

I Pity the Poor Immigrant Melissa Lucashenko , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , no. 1 2017;

'Many years ago I read a now forgotten novel by a now forgotten author, which had a truly wonderful preface. It read, simply, this bloody book nearly killed me. I therefore dedicate it, dear Reader, to myself. There is a delicate irony at play, I think, in my long remembering this dedication while the book itself is erased completely from my memory. I’ll touch on the interplay of knowledge and memory in due course. What I want to start by saying, though, is that in my case, as in the case of that forgotten preface’s author, while writing can be a horrifically stressful business - and while writing this paper did indeed feel like it was going to kill me - the Author is emphatically Not Dead.' (Introduction)

The Fiction of Time Winton : Relational Ecology in an Unsettled Land Lyn McCredden , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Le Simplegadi , November vol. 17 no. 2017; (p. 63-71)
Complicating the processes of belonging in place, for non-Indigenous Australians, is the growing realization that they live in a huge, diverse land, a place in which they are not native. The fiction of popular Anglo-Saxon Australian novelist Tim Winton echoes the understanding of poet Judith Wright, for whom “two strands – the love of the land we have invaded and the guilt of the invasion – have become part of me. It is a haunted country” (Wright 1991: 30). This essay will explore Winton’s novels in which there is a pervasive sense of unease and loss experienced by the central characters, in relation to place and land. Winton’s characters – Queenie Cookson and her traumatic witnessing of the barbaric capture and flaying of whales; Fish Lamb’s near-drowning in the sea, and Lu Fox’s quest for refuge in the wilderness, prophet-like, after the tragedy of his family’s death – are all written with a haunting sense of white unsettlement and displacement, where such natural forces – the sea and its creatures, the land’s distances and risks – confront and re-form the would-be dominators.
Review : Island Home 2017 single work review essay
— Appears in: Social Alternatives , vol. 36 no. 2 2017; (p. 56)

'Tim Winton’s Island Home (2015) carries the sub-title ‘A landscape memoir’, and it will not surprise readers of Winton’s fiction that he handles the elastic form of the memoir with novelistic flair. He eschews conventional chronology, arranging a looser narrative mosaic befitting the mode of peripheral perception he celebrates: the power of 'vision beyond mere glimpsing', as he puts it in his earlier essay bearing the same sub-title, ‘Strange passion: a landscape memoir’ (1999). (Introduction)

An Australian ‘Landscape Memoir’ Looks to a Continent’s Changes Terry Tempest Williams , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 4 June 2017;
'We are an arrogant species. But in “Island Home,” we find Tim Winton humbled by wild places, especially in his own territory of Western Australia. Here this prizewinning novelist has written what he calls a “landscape memoir,” one that considers our place on the planet and calls it into question. He has written a book about brokenness at the beginning of the 21st century: “At our end of history we’ve come to believe we have power over nature. We like to think matter, creatures, weather and organic processes have no power over us. But if you walk deep into a wild Australian landscape, the glossy armor of your self-possession may begin to show a few cracks.”' (Introduction)
Tim Winton, Island Home: A Landscape Memoir (Hamish Hamilton, 2015) Jean-François Vernay , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , May vol. 9 no. 2 2017;
'Tim Winton spent his childhood in suburbia and on Australia’s west coast as described in his autobiography Land’s Edge (1993). He wrote his way to become the darling of Australian readers who enjoy his rich prose that evokes the south-western landscape of his native land. He can be regarded as a writer who has a close affinity with the people and especially the land that he holds in high regard in his stories. Winton’s coastal narratives invariably vividly depict rural communities functioning in harmony with the beach culture.' (Introduction)
Winton Salutes Our Island Home William Yeoman , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 22 September 2015; (p. 7)

— Review of Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton 2015 single work autobiography
Tim Winton's Island Home Isn't Memoir, It's a Cultural Call to Arms Jamie Hanson , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 13 October 2015;

— Review of Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton 2015 single work autobiography
When a Writer Keeps Watch on the Beat of His Heartland Delia Falconer , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 24-25 October 2015; (p. 29) The Saturday Age , 24-25 October 2015; (p. 29)

— Review of Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton 2015 single work autobiography
Putting a Value on What Lies beneath Rebecca Giggs , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 31 October - 1 November 2015; (p. 20)

— Review of Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton 2015 single work autobiography
Bigger Fish to Fry Blanche Clark , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 31 October 2015; (p. 20)

— Review of Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton 2015 single work autobiography
Tim Winton Island under a Cloud Rick Feneley (interviewer), 2015 single work interview
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19-20 September 2015; (p. 4-5) The Sunday Age , 20 September 2015; (p. 10)
Winton Will Always Call Australia His Island Home Amanda Ellis , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 3 October 2015; (p. 91)
Best Reads – End of Story Deborah Bogle , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 20 December 2015; (p. 24)
Another Country : The Bush Is a Person, Wrapped in a Landscape Gabrielle Chan , 2016 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 75 no. 1 2016; (p. 46-55)
A New Colonial Era of Publishing Lies Ahead Tim Winton , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21-22 May 2016; (p. 36)
Last amended 17 Oct 2017 14:06:33