'A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.
'Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.
'Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Our lives are made up of different arcs—love, family, politics, geography, time and dislocation among them. One of the arcs that has exercised me most is my wondering about post-colonising Australia and its myths and mythmaking propensities, also about my family’s.
'Although my childhood was spent mostly in Melbourne, it was punctuated by our frequent pilgrimages to the promised land (aka South Australia) and inflected by the awareness that Melbourne was exile to my South Australian mother—feelings I do not share. She often reminded us of our ‘free settler’ heritage, and of our roots in the colonial era, no more than a blink of time ago in the face of 50,000 or more years of Aboriginal occupation; my horror has only grown with the intervening years.
'We loved South Australia for our own reasons: for heat, our peerless great-grandmother, wild freedom and the beach. But an awareness of myth, of the stories we tell and the ways we frame present and past, was kindled. If there is an arc in this selection, it is that the postcolonial Australia that I first began to think about as a child—if only at the edges of my mind—is a myth. It always has been.' (Introduction)
'Veronica Brady, vigorous supporter of Aboriginal causes and deeply concerned with social-injustice issues, underlined that Anglo-Australians were to be excommunicated from the land until they would come to terms with it and its first peoples (in Jones 1997). Nearly twenty years after this statement was postulated, it is my purpose in this paper to look at the land from an Anglo-Australian and non-Indigenous Australian perspective in order to assess if Australian contemporary society has moved beyond what Brady considered a “super ego status” and reconciled to the presence not only of its Indigenous, but also its non-Indigenous others. To do so I will exemplify novels which are part of and influenced by the matrix of relations and social forces in which non-indigenous Australian writers are situated on, including Suneeta Peres da Costa’s Homework (1999) and Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (2013).'