y Dirt Music single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2001... 2001 Dirt Music
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Georgie Jutland is a mess. At forty, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. Her days have fallen into domestic tedium and social isolation. Her nights are a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Leached of all confidence, Georgie has lost her way; she barely recognises herself.

'One morning, in the boozy pre-dawn gloom, she looks up from the computer screen to see a shadow lurking on the beach below, and a dangerous new element enters her life. Luther Fox, the local poacher. Jinx. Outcast...' (From the publisher's website.)


  • Selected in December 2004 by the Australian public in an ABC poll as Australia's eleventh favourite book.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney,: Picador , 2001 .
      Extent: 465p.
      Reprinted: 2002 , 2004
      ISBN: 0330363239
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Picador ,
      2002 .
      Extent: 465p.
      Reprinted: 2003
      ISBN: 0330490249
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Scribner ,
      2002 .
      Alternative title: Dirt Music : A Novel
      Extent: 411p.
      ISBN: 0743228022
    • Rockland, Massachusetts,
      United States of America (USA),
      Compass Press ,
      2002 .
      Extent: 460p.
      ISBN: 158724246X
Alternative title: Par-dessus le bord du monde : roman
Language: French

Works about this Work

Australia : An Inescapable Cultural Paradigm? Cross- and Transcultural Elements in Tim Winton’s Fiction Tomasz Gadzina , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 7 no. 2 2016; (p. 30-40)
'The article considers Tim Winton’s fiction in terms of its cross- and transcultural character. Despite the fact that local Australian settings permeate the writer’s narratives, Winton creates an imaginary space that is both local and transnational in terms of its quality of the domestic culture, which Winton extends beyond its original field of practice. Winton achieves the transcultural quality of his fiction through transgressions and boundary breaking that are possible due to his frequent reworking of the traditional Australian themes and concepts of the unknown, supernatural, mystical, numinous and sacred, exploitation of leitmotifs of journey, transit and in-betweenness, use of cross-cultural symbols as well as various utopian and dystopian topoi such as Arcadia and Heimat.' (Publication abstract)
From Conquest to Collapse : Ecological Thoughts in the Depiction of Wheatbelt in Cloudstreet and Dirt Music Xu Xianjing , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies – Proceedings of the 14th International Conference of Australian Studies in China 2015; (p. 132-145)
This paper is an analysis of Tim Winton's depiction of wheat land in the novels Cloudstreet and Dirt Music.
Australian Literature, Risk, and the Global Climate Challenge Graham Huggan , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literature, Interpretation, Theory , vol. 26 no. 2 2015; (p. 85-105)
'Envision two scenarios, the one real the other imagined, both played out in Australia's southeast regions. In the imagined one, taken from George Turner's post-apocalyptic story “The Fittest,” the year is 2035 and parts of Melbourne are under water. The embattled city is divided into two camps, the Swill and the Sweet, who make up nine tenths and one tenth of the population, respectively. The Swill live in run-down tenement blocks in the low-lying southern and western areas of the city, which are at the mercy of rising sea levels caused by the catastrophic melting of the ice caps. The Sweet look down on the Swill, both literally and metaphorically, from their privileged vantage on the higher levels. The Swill, meanwhile, are left to fend for themselves in a daily and brutal struggle for survival: jobless, hungry, they are little more than predatory animals, a racially stigmatized underclass equivalent to Asia's barbarian hordes (Maxwell 20–21; Morgan). In the real one, the year is 2013 and parts of Tasmania have been transformed into an inferno. A devastating heatwave covering most of the southern and eastern parts of Australia has caused wildfires to spread, with its largest offshore island bearing the brunt of it. There are few deaths, but hundreds of people are displaced and irreparable damage is done to thousands of hectares of land and property. Media commentators return to that most obdurate if readily reversible of clichés, Australia as un/lucky country, linking the sins of commission (the perils of boom-and-bust economics) to those of omission (the price paid for ecological neglect).1 Spoiling as always for a fight, the British environmental campaigner George Monbiot sanctimoniously reminds his antipodean cousins that they burn twice as much carbon as his own countrymen, and that the history of Australia, framed as a “land of opportunity in which progress is limited only by the rate at which natural resources can be extracted,” doubles as a cautionary tale of what happens when “climate change clashes with a story of great cultural power.” Lest the moral of the story be unclear, Monbiot flourishingly underscores it: “Australia's new weather,” he says, “demands a new politics, a politics capable of responding to an existential threat.”' (Author's introduction)
Tim Winton’s Dirt Music : Sounding Country/Re-siting Place Stephen Harris , 2015 single work single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 1 2015;
'In his novel, Dirt Music, Tim Winton centres the narrative on the literary conceit of “dirt” music as an elemental thus generative force that at once ‘earths’ and elevates the human being. Luther Fox, one of two central characters, experiences a powerful epiphany upon playing a rudimentary musical instrument through which he creates a reverberative drone summoned from the environment using improvised natural acoustics. In doing so, he enters a paradoxical state of immanent transcendence through the drone experienced as a kind of pure sound. Thus, Dirt Music invites creative speculation about the power of music as source of both music (rhythm/harmony) and ontological ‘poetics’. In this article, I explore the literary significance and philosophical and ethical implications of what Winton has called (after the indigenous poet and elder, Bill Neidjie) “practical mysticism”. In this way, the transcendentally spiritual is always grounded in a “common-sense” experience of fully lived being, just as ‘dirt’ music is ‘rooted’ in the energised abstraction of the aharmonic drone – “common” as both a shared and an empirically immediate sense of wonder at the living, interactive presence of the natural world. In Dirt Music, then, the act of making music is richly allusive: to make music becomes a means of working towards a felt and vital connection with country; but it is also to understand how music works conductively as indigenous sound, effecting the animating interplay or interconnection between individual consciousness and the living presence and force of natural world as ecology and wilderness, landscape and country.' (Publication abstract)
A Signature of Topophilia in Winton’s Shallows and Dirt Music Yunyi Zhu , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , December no. 1 2014; (p. 55-71)
Best Reads in 2002 Arnold Zable , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Jewish News , 27 December vol. 69 no. 17 2002; (p. 30)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel ; Gilgamesh : A Novel Joan London 2001 single work novel
Untitled Frances Devlin-Glass , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 1 no. 2002; (p. 81-84)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel
Perils of the Popular Peter Craven , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 62 no. 1 2003; (p. 133-143)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel
'Peter Craven appraises three recent novels, one English [Ian McEwan's Atonement], one Australian [Winton's Dirt Music] and one American [Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections], that contrive to cross the boundaries of serious and popular fiction' and assesses the degrees of artistic success. (p.133)
Living Stones Magdalena Ball , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Coppertales : A Journal of Rural Arts , no. 9 2003; (p. 86-88)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel
Two Sides to the Story : For Bronwyn Rivers , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15-16 September 2007; (p. 32)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel
Author Winton Joins Artists in Logging Boycott Andrew Darby , 2002 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 6 November 2002; (p. 9)
Tim Winton, Natural Born Writer Michael Sheather , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Women's Weekly , October 2002; (p. 56-58)
The Travelling Heroine in Recent Australian Fiction Elizabeth Webby , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: 'Unemployed at Last!' : Essays on Australian Literature to 2002 for Julian Croft 2002; (p. 175-186)
This essay reviews and discusses seven Australian novels published in 2000 and 2001 which all focus on 'travelling heroines'. Trying to explore what these novels tell us about the current state of Australian fiction, Webby sees a trend to avoid contemporary settings and topics and thus a confrontation with current political and social issues such as discrimination and racism. She observes a move from the nineteenth to the twentieth century as 'the favoured domain for serious Australian historical fiction', and a trend to return to essentially nineteenth-century themes and structures.
Winton First Among Peers 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 27 May 2003; (p. 3)
Books and Covers : Reflections on Some Recent Australian Novels Elizabeth Webby , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney Studies in English , vol. 29 no. 2003; (p. 79-86)
Compares the covers of Australian, American and English editions of recent Australian novels, including three novels short-listed for the 2002 Miles Franklin Award.
Last amended 18 Jul 2017 13:50:49