AustLit logo
person or book cover
Image courtesy of Allen & Unwin
y separately published work icon The Slap single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 The Slap
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.

'This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.

'In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.

'What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth.' (Publisher's blurb)

Exhibitions

6692897
18388378
18387981

Adaptations

form y separately published work icon The Slap Tony Ayres , Australia : ABC Television Matchbox Pictures , 2011 Z1699408 2011 series - publisher film/TV 'The series starts at an Australian backyard BBQ. Amongst alcohol, friendship and a children's cricket game a man slaps a child who is not his son. The party comes to a sudden halt. The child's parents are so affronted they vow to take the man to court. As the series unfolds the police become involved and friends and family are forced to take sides. One cousin is forced to testify against another. Couples are caught in the crossfire. Beliefs are tested and relationships strained.

'The story is told through the points of view of eight characters as the court case proceeds, as affairs begin and end, as a pregnancy is decided and marriages morph and change. Each character's life is profoundly affected by "the slap", and each of the main character is metaphorically slapped as they are forced to face up to fundamental truths about themselves.'

Source: The Slap website http://www.abc.net.au/tv/theslap/about/ (Sighted 11/10/2011)
form y separately published work icon The Slap Jon Robin Baitz , ( dir. Lisa Cholodenko ) United States of America (USA) : Matchbox Pictures Universal Television NBC , 2015 8280562 2015 series - publisher film/TV

'Meet Hector [...], a public servant, husband, father and valued friend on the cusp of his 40th birthday. Meet Aisha [...], Hector's beautiful and intelligent wife who is planning his party filled with friends and his very boisterous Greek family. Sounds like the makings of a great day, right? Wrong.

'As Hector tries to navigate family politics, awkward friendships and the young woman he is dangerously captivated by, the built-up tension explodes when Hector's hotheaded cousin slaps another couple's misbehaving child. Everyone is understandably stunned, and the party abruptly ends with the child's parents vowing legal action. What the hosts and guests don't know, however, is that this moment will ignite a chain of events that will uncover long-buried secrets within this group of friends and family... and vigorously challenge the core values of everyone involved.'

Source: NBC (http://www.nbc.com/the-slap). (Sighted: 3/2/2015)

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Year 11 (Literature Unit 3). This unit could be suitably adapted for study at a tertiary level also.

Themes

Australian identity, families, identity, middle class values, morality, multiculturalism, relationships

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy

Notes

  • Ranked #8 in ABC1's First Tuesday Book Club '10 Aussie Books to Read Before You Die' 2012 voting ballot.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2008 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Allen & Unwin
      Extent: 483p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: November 2008.
      ISBN: 9781741753592
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      HarperCollins (Canada) ,
      2009 .
      image of person or book cover 8337247760507642305.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 483p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published June 12th 2009
      ISBN: 9781554686452, 1554686458
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2010 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Allen & Unwin
      Extent: 485p.
      Edition info: Special edition to commemorate Allen and Unwin's 20th birthday celebrations.
      Note/s:
      • Published November 1st 2010
      ISBN: 9781742374222 (hbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin ,
      2010 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Penguin Books
      Extent: 483p.
      Note/s:
      • Published April 27th 2010
      ISBN: 9780143117148 (pbk.)
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Harper Perennial ,
      2010 .
      image of person or book cover 7315910407498249657.jpeg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 496p.
      Note/s:
      • Published July 19th 2010
      ISBN: 9781554686469 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Atlantic Books ,
      2010 .
      image of person or book cover 5762675865625364092.jpeg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 485p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1 May 2010 (ebk) and 17 March 2011 (pbk).
      ISBN: 9781848873568 (pbk), 9781848878600 (ebk)
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2011 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Allen & Unwin
      Extent: 588p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date September, 2011.
      • Television tie-in publication for the ABC1 series. Cover features series cast members.
      ISBN: 9781742375601
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2012 .
      image of person or book cover 1904973096266976229.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 482p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published February 22nd 2012
      ISBN: 9780143122661, 0143122665
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 2664990676161452951.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 482p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published February 10th 2015
      ISBN: 9780143128700, 0143128701
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Tuskar Rock Press ,
      2010 .
      image of person or book cover 7884452735177499694.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Limited edition info: Special limited ed.; 25 copies, signed and numbered by author.
      Description: Hardback, leatherbound, slipcover.
      Note/s:
      • Tusker Rock published both an extremely limited leatherbound hardback ed. and a paperback ed.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Tuskar Rock Press ,
      2010 .
      image of person or book cover 4696557718926388074.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 485p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: May 2010.
      ISBN: 9781848873551 (pbk.)

Other Formats

  • Sound recording (read by Alex Dimitiades),
  • Braille.
  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

Man on a Mission Rachel Cook (interviewer), single work interview
— Appears in: Melbourne Community Voice , 13 June no. 597 (p. 12-13)
Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap Named in 25 Best Australian Novels of the Last 25 Years 2022 single work column
— Appears in: Neos Kosmos , June 2022;

'Christos Tsiolkas’ novel The Slap, written in 2008 has been named in Sydney Morning Herald’s list of the 25 best Australian novels in the last 25 years.'

Czech Translations and Receptions of Contemporary Australian Fiction Tomáš Kačer , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Postcolonial Writing , vol. 58 no. 1 2022; (p. 51-64)

'I was offered the opportunity to translate The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas into Czech in November 2010, two years after its original publication in Australia. The offer came from the publishing house Host, a growing and quite prestigious publisher focusing on original Czech poetry and fiction and quality literary translations of various genres. I was considered suitable because I had at the time five translations of full-length novels under my belt. The publishing house also relied upon my knowledge of the Australian context and my ability to conduct research in areas unfamiliar to me as I was a student of comparative literature in a post-graduate programme. Therefore, it entrusted me with a novel as complex and extensive as The Slap. There was also a very personal reason why the publisher picked me: like Tsiolkas, I have Greek ancestry, and the publisher thought that this, in particular, would help me understand the Greek dimension of Tsiolkas’s novel. After The Slap, I also translated Barracuda into Czech in 2014 – the last book by Tsiolkas published in Czech to date.' (Publication abstract)

The Blurred Space : Reading the Body Politic in Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap and The Jesus Man Pete Walsh , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 46 no. 1 2022; (p. 31-44)

'The politico-historical settings of Christos Tsiolkas’s novels The Jesus Man (1999) and The Slap (2008) compromise the expressions of self manifested by his transcultural characters. The failure of Howard-era multicultural policies combines with the economic rationalising of the culture wars and the xenophobic hysteria spread by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party to haunt those marginalised by the Eurocentricity of Australian culture. As a result, the transcultural characters of The Jesus Man are forced to externalise an augmented version of their performative selves, compromised as they are by such cultural homogenisation; in The Slap, the failure of neoliberal multicultural policies manifests in the anxieties experienced by the characters. The characters of both novels are forced to confront these sociocultural, historical and psychological conflicts in a space laden with historical tensions, cultural erasure and political uncertainty. This article argues that Tsiolkas’s real-world fictional settings problematise the performance of his multicultural characters in ways that unsettle hegemonic constructions of Australian culture. In particular, I contend that from this tension, a blurred space emerges that offers a way forward for transcultural subjects: it is a liminal space in which cultural syncretism is encouraged, cultural performance is delimited, and hegemonic cultural norms are mitigated.'(Publication abstract)

Christos Tsiolkas's Style Mark Azzopardi , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 21 no. 1 2021;

'This article takes up a specific feature of Christos Tsiolkas's writing, his style. Focusing on Tsiolkas's fourth novel, The Slap, this article argues that Tsiolkas’s style is an inarticulate style: a style that does not always use the right word at the right moment, that employs language for narrative utility rather than its own sake, and that sporadically departs from standard usage and correctness in ways that do not appear artistically motivated. My argument is that The Slap is notable among contemporary fiction in that what I consider to be Tsiolkas’s worst sentences are the most revealing of his inclinations as a novelist. Consequently, I depart from what has become a standard formula in Tsiolkas's reception, that where Tsiolkas succeeds as a writer he succeeds in spite of his style. Finally, this article also contributes to recent debates about the purpose and vocabulary of Australian literary discussion: how critics debate the work of a prize-winning author, how criticism and praise operate in critical judgements, and the significance of style in evaluations of literature.' (Publication abstract)

Untitled Scott Whitmont , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 88 no. 3 2008; (p. 32)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
When the Smoke Clears Gerard Windsor , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3 November 2008; (p. 32-33)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
Barbecue Stopper Lucy Clark , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 9 November 2008; (p. 18)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
The Hand That Wrecked the Barbie Louise Swinn , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 8 November 2008; (p. 23)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
Smack Dab in the Middle Class Venero Armanno , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 8-9 November 2008; (p. 13)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
A Slap in the Face Michael Harry , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 22 November 2008; (p. 11)
The Passion of Christos Caroline Baum , 2008 single work biography
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 13 December 2008; (p. 27-28, 31)
Novel Touches on Country's Nerves Miriam Cosic , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 12 March 2009; (p. 4)
Prize for Tsiolkas 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 March 2009; (p. 16)
Franklin Listing Tops Tsiolkas's Big Week Susan Wyndham , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13 March 2009; (p. 16)
Last amended 23 Jul 2021 10:22:49
X