AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 5245304788387570655.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
y separately published work icon The Street Sweeper single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 The Street Sweeper
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

'How breathtakingly close we are to lives that at first seem so far away.

'From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing each other every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some survive to become history.

'Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can't locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few kilometres uptown, Australian historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging out of the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally and perhaps even personally. As these two men try to survive in early twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths - Lamont's and Adam's - lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago to Auschwitz.

'Epic in scope, this is a remarkable feat of storytelling.' (From publisher's website.)

Notes

  • Dedication:
    In memory of
    Rosa Robota, Estusia Wajcblum, Ala Gertner, Regina Safirztain
    and
    Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins,
    who all died from different manifestations of the same disease.
  • Epigraph:
    Mountains bow down to this grief...
    But hope keeps singing from afar.

    -Anna Akhmatova

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage Australia , 2011 .
      image of person or book cover 5245304788387570655.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 554p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 3 October 2011.
      • Includes:
        • Sources consulted (pp. 547-551)
        • Acknowledgements (pp. 553-554)
      ISBN: 9781742754543 (ebk.), 9781741666175 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Faber ,
      2012 .
      image of person or book cover 9133894663108994412.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 555p.
      ISBN: 9780571236848
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Riverhead Books ,
      2012 .
      image of person or book cover 165767616529375477.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 626p.
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliographical references (p. [621]-624)
      ISBN: 1594488479 (hardback), 9781594488474 (hardback)
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Bond Street Bookshop ,
      2012 .
      image of person or book cover 8403571269426030904.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 554p.
      ISBN: 0385665628 (hbk.), 9780385665629 (hbk.)
Alternative title: La Mémoire est une Chienne Indocile
Language: French
    • Paris,
      c
      France,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Laffont ,
      2013 .
      image of person or book cover 7595894152314973486.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 592p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published January 2013.
      ISBN: 9782221109816, 2221109813
    • Paris,
      c
      France,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      10-18 ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 1903648284750895062.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 779p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published May 2015.
      ISBN: 9782264063663, 2264063661

Works about this Work

While the Drum Beats, 'Stop the Boats' Elliot Perlman , 2013 single work autobiography
— Appears in: A Country Too Far : Writings on Asylum Seekers 2013; (p. 21-24)
Silent Triumph of the Individual : Social Investigation through Empathy in Elliot Perlman's Three Dollars, Seven Types of Ambiguity, and The Street Sweeper Fiona Duthie , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 27 no. 2 2013; (p. 197-202)

'The novels of Elliot Perlman encompass a wide variety of social observations and criticism in both contemporary and historical settings. Each novel, Three Dollars, Types of Ambiguity, and The Street Sweeper, most definitely constitutes a recognition of suffering and a cry against inhumanity. However, the principal purpose of these novels is not to wallow in awfulness, nor is it solely to educate readers as to the harder realities of life. Here, Duthie examines Perlman's three novels. ' (Publication summary)

Book Review – The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman Joanne Peulen , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: Booklover Book Reviews 2012;

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Books of the Week Carmen Trevino , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 30 September 2012; (p. 37)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Stop the Boats Elliot Perlman , 2012 single work prose
— Appears in: Meanjin , Winter vol. 71 no. 2 2012; (p. 9-11)
Untitled Mark Thomas , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 1 October 2011; (p. 24)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Untitled Shane Strange , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 91 no. 3 2011; (p. 24)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
What Happened Here Don Anderson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 335 2011; (p. 45-46)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Review of the Week John Bailey , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 16 October 2011; (p. 16)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Black-and-White Story Needs Shades of Grey Geordie Williamson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 October 2011; (p. 20)

— Review of The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman , 2011 single work novel
Swept Up in History Robert Hefner , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 1 October 2011; (p. 23-24)
A Judgement Issue Jane Sullivan , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 1 October 2011; (p. 26-27) The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 October 2011; (p. 39)
Author Swept Away by Blair's Friendship Suzanne Carbone , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 18 October 2011; (p. 20)
Eight Years in Anticipation Shane Strange (interviewer), 2011 single work interview
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 91 no. 3 2011; (p. 28)
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)

Last amended 2 Feb 2021 13:45:27
Settings:
  • New York (City), New York (State),
    c
    United States of America (USA),
    c
    Americas,
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • Chicago, Illinois,
    c
    United States of America (USA),
    c
    Americas,
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau, Occupied Poland (1939-1945),
    c
    Poland,
    c
    Eastern Europe, Europe,
  • 2000-2099
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X