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y separately published work icon Sons of the Rumour single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Sons of the Rumour
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Sons of the Rumour is nothing short of a dazzling and genre-defying work of genius. Foster retells the tale of the legendary eighth-century King Shahrban of Persia who, furious at his wife's infidelity, has decided to marry and then behead a fresh virgin every day. But then the king meets Scheherazade, a beauty of such wiles and storytelling gifts she manages to entertain the him for 1001 nights, staving off death for both herself and her countrywomen. In the process, she also bears him three sons, wisely educates him in morality and kindness, and eventually convinces him to take her as his lawful wife.

'Intersecting with the historical tale is the story of Al Morrisey - a middle-aged, Anglo-Irish, former jazz-drumming everyman, on the run from a failed marriage, and cursed with Freudian daydreams of his mother and peculiar nightmares of all things Persian - as he vainly attempts to reconcile the past with the present and reclaim some of his youthful vigour.

'Ingeniously manipulating the frame tale of the Arabian Nights, and utilising all his narrative gifts of adventurous satire, David Foster has produced a work of fiction like no other.' (From the publisher's website.)

Notes

  • Influenced by Tales from the Arabian Nights.
  • Dedication: For Gerda Uxor tanto virtuosa quanto bella.
  • Epigraph: Nature always goes too far. Turba Philosophorum.
  • Epigraph: Drive Nature out with a pitchfork, always she comes back in. Horace.
  • Epigraph: The human soul has a tendency to divest itself of its nature in order to assume the nature of the angels and to become an angel, in reality, but for a moment. This moment comes and goes in the time it takes a human eye to blink. The soul then resumes human form, having received in the world of the angels a message it must transmit. Ibn Khaldun of Tunis.
  • Epigraph:

    Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd

    Of the Two Worlds so wisely - they are thrust

    Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn

    Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

    'Umari-i-Khay of Khurasan / Edward Fitzgerald of Suffolk

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Pan Macmillan ; Picador , 2009 .
      Extent: 427p.
      ISBN: 9781405039581 (hbk.)

Works about this Work

Strange and Beautiful: David Foster’s Sons of the Rumour Susan Lever , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 58 no. 2 2013; (p. 85-100)

Argues that a turning away from aestheticism in contemporary literature is one of the reasons for the critical neglect of the significant Australian novelist, David Foster.

The Silver Age of Fiction Peter Pierce , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 70 no. 4 2011; (p. 110-115)

‘In human reckoning, Golden Ages are always already in the past. The Greek poet Hesiod, in Works and Days, posited Five Ages of Mankind: Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic and Iron (Ovid made do with four). Writing in the Romantic period, Thomas Love Peacock (author of such now almost forgotten novels as Nightmare Abbey, 1818) defined The Four Ages of Poetry (1820) in which their order was Iron, Gold, Silver and Bronze. To the Golden Age, in their archaic greatness, belonged Homer and Aeschylus. The Silver Age, following it, was less original, but nevertheless 'the age of civilised life'. The main issue of Peacock's thesis was the famous response that he elicited from his friend Shelley - Defence of Poetry (1821).’ (Publication abstract)

Arabian Tales, Suburban Spice David Sornig , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 12 December 2009; (p. 29)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
Fiction Books Adair Jones , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 21 - 22 November 2009; (p. 26)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
Books Ian Nichols , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 14 November 2009; (p. 34)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
Satirical Pathways Enchant and Puzzle Peter Pierce , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 24 October 2009; (p. 12)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel ; David Foster : The Satirist of Australia Susan Lever , 2008 multi chapter work criticism
Stark Consolation of Philosophy Susan Lever , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 November 2009; (p. 21)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
Old Pieties Challenged by 'Mustafa from Punchbowl' A. P. Riemer , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 November 2009; (p. 26-27)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
A Town Called Merv: Brilliant Writing from the Quixotic David Foster James Ley , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 316 2009; (p. 15-16)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel
Take Chances or Die Matthew Lamb , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , November vol. 4 no. 10 2009; (p. 22)

— Review of Sons of the Rumour David Foster , 2009 single work novel ; David Foster : The Satirist of Australia Susan Lever , 2008 multi chapter work criticism
Classic Heroine Hits the Beach : David Foster Talks to Paul Sheehan Paul Sheehan , 2009 single work biography
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 31 October - 1 November 2009; (p. 26-27) The Age , 7 November 2009; (p. 24-25)
The Silver Age of Fiction Peter Pierce , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 70 no. 4 2011; (p. 110-115)

‘In human reckoning, Golden Ages are always already in the past. The Greek poet Hesiod, in Works and Days, posited Five Ages of Mankind: Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic and Iron (Ovid made do with four). Writing in the Romantic period, Thomas Love Peacock (author of such now almost forgotten novels as Nightmare Abbey, 1818) defined The Four Ages of Poetry (1820) in which their order was Iron, Gold, Silver and Bronze. To the Golden Age, in their archaic greatness, belonged Homer and Aeschylus. The Silver Age, following it, was less original, but nevertheless 'the age of civilised life'. The main issue of Peacock's thesis was the famous response that he elicited from his friend Shelley - Defence of Poetry (1821).’ (Publication abstract)

Strange and Beautiful: David Foster’s Sons of the Rumour Susan Lever , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 58 no. 2 2013; (p. 85-100)

Argues that a turning away from aestheticism in contemporary literature is one of the reasons for the critical neglect of the significant Australian novelist, David Foster.

Last amended 18 Mar 2010 10:52:57
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