Some relevant facts about Grace Malloy. Apart from being named after a 100,000-year-old skeleton, she was twenty-nine and for much of the past three years she'd been hiding from an erotomaniac.
Physically and emotionally besieged, Grace attempts to claw back her personal territory by abandoning her inner-city life as a film reviewer and fleeing to the remoteness of the Kimberley – where existence and territory have altogether wider implications.
Lying low, working in a wildlife park, she slowly reclaims her sanity. Her only links to the outside world are her father and her stalker.
Intricately plotted, breathlessly paced, Grace reflects on the countless varieties of love and the nature of fear.
At once intimate and grand in scale, this disquieting and provocatively witty novel reveals the full vigour of an artistic vision in turn poetic and cinematic.
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Unit Suitable For
AC: Year 11 (English Unit 2)
borders, gender, identity, mental illness, the impact of the past upon the present
Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social
'The ‘social realist novel’ that Robert Drewe quite deliberately set out to write with Grace could have sunk under the weight of its own ideas, were it not for the thriller foil the story is wrapped in. Grace Molloy, the protagonist, is on the run from a crazed erotomanic stalker, whom she refers to as ‘the Icelander’. Grace is the daughter of an anthropologist, and named after the famous discovery that her father John Molloy made of ‘the first modern woman’, a skeleton he named ‘Grace’ for its ‘gracile’ form. This isn’t just a thriller; Drewe is musing over the birth of humanity itself, and the movement of people across the earth. He poses complex questions that don’t arrive at answers, but in a culture that often hides behind euphemisms – that refugees are ‘boat people’, for example – and is still struggling to come to terms with ideas of belonging, just to pose the questions has power.' (Introduction)
'In an article entitled 'Minimal Selves,' Stuart Hall suggests that 'identity' is formed at the unstable point where the 'unspeakable' stories of subjectivity meet the narratives of history, of a culture.' This essay is an attempt to explore just such an articulation of identity, as it crystallizes at the boundary between the private and the public in one of Robert Drewe's most recent novels, Grace (2005)...' (From author's introduction 231)