Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tim Winton

The preeminent Australian novelist of his generation, Tim Winton is the author of the bestselling Cloudstreet, The Riders, and Dirt Music, among many other books. He has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music, and Breath) and has twice been short-listed for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.

Winton's new novel is Eyrie.

From the author's interview with Alex Clark for the Guardian:

Your novels are rooted in the people and the natural world of western Australia. What were you trying to give voice to?

I enjoyed the particularity of place and vernacular, even though that was just another seemingly insurmountable challenge. If you're from the provinces anywhere, everyone's going to tell you nobody wants to read about that stuff, you should be reshaping yourself for the metropolis. My only peers were in the library. I don't mean that in the sense that I felt I was their equal, but they were the examples: Twain and Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.

And the reason I liked Hardy was that immersion in landscape and the stories of people across classes. Everyone gets a run on the pitch in Hardy.

Your new novel centres on Tom Keely, an environmentalist whom crisis has befallen. We meet him as he's living a reclusive, broken life in a grimy tower block. How did his story start?

I've spent nearly 20 years as a volunteer activist, and I've met a lot of people in the NGO world who are essentially like broken soldiers. They're standing in the traffic saying, "What about…?". The days they're not getting run over, they're getting so close to being run over that they're in a state of permanent trauma. So I guess I'd worked with these people for a long time and watched them, and thought: how do you guys...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue