If you aren't already acquainted
with the works of Australian author Tim Winton, this summer
is the perfect opportunity to dip into them.
The prolific author of adult and children's fiction and
non-fiction lives in Fremantle, and many of his novels and
short stories are set in Western Australia. He is a master of
place, which is so vividly evoked it almost becomes a
character in its own right. The sea and sand of his coastal
settings make for perfect summer reading, but be warned,
darkness often lurks beneath the surface.
Winton's characters - he writes equally convincingly about
and from the perspective of males and females - are flawed;
often hiding, or running from, secrets or tragedies in the
past, and struggling with love and loss, grief and guilt, and
attempts at happiness and redemption.
An environmentalist, his love of the
sea is obvious in the characters he creates, often surfers
His language is poetic, his imagery sublime, but his prose is
never pretentious. Cloudstreet is one of his most popular
novels and is highly readable. I would also recommend Dirt
Music as one of the most compelling novels I have ever read.
His most recent novel Breath goes to very dark places in the
human soul, but also manages to capture beauty in his
descriptions of place and in the bonds of male camaraderie.
In short, find some sun, sea and sand to immerse yourself in
the scene, and start reading!
- Helen Speirs