'David Malouf is one of the finest writers in contemporary literature. This volume offers a well-balanced, compact selection of his intricately connected work. Short stories, poems, essays, interviews and the classic novel "Johnno", reproduced in full, show the range of his remarkable achievement. "Johnno", his first and most popular work of fiction, has entered the public imagination with its moving evocation of the 1940s and 50s. The novel is here counterbalanced by the wider contexts of David Malouf's poems and short stories. The uncollected essays highlight his brilliance as a literary commentator, and his deep interest in a variety of contemporary issues. James Tulip's introduction provides an indispensable overview of the work of this outstanding author.' (Publication summary)
'Dante and Johnno are unlikely childhood friends, growing up in the bustle of steamy, wartime Brisbane. Later, as teenagers, they learn about love and life amidst the city's pubs and public libraries, backyards and brothels, Moreton Bay figs and tennis parties. As adults, they make the great pilgrimage overseas and maintain an uneasy friendship as they seek to build their lives.
'An affectionate and bittersweet portrait, Johnno brilliantly recreates the sleazy, tropical half-city that was Brisbane and captures a generation locked in combat with the elusive Australian dream.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Penguin).