A brilliant novel that is at once a rollicking yarn and a beautiful love story, with an amazing cast of unforgettable characters and exotic settings - a feat of imagination and storytelling from the bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos.
Shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year and The Vance Palmer Prize
They were showing the savages on the rooftop--that was the word at the kerbstone.
Set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific, Bright and Distant Shores is both a sweeping epic and a triumph of lyrical storytelling. Chicago First Equitable has won the race to construct the world's tallest building and its president, Hale Gray, hits upon a surefire way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life 'savages'. He sponsors a South Seas voyage to collect not only weaponry and artefacts, but also 'several natives related by blood' for the company's rooftop spectacle. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans: Owen Graves, the voyage's head trader from Chicago's South Side, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in Melanesia--two young men haunted by their pasts.
With echoes of Melville, Doctorow and Carey, Bright and Distant Shores is at once a remarkable love story and a breathtaking adventure that chronicles the clash of the tribal and the civilised at a pivotal moment in history. An extraordinary feat of imagination and storytelling, it will wholly seduce you.
'Hugely entertaining . . . One of the most striking new Australian novels I've read in some time, a work suffused by a generous and often joyous humanity, and unafraid to take narrative risks.' James Bradley, The Australian
'An atmospheric, meticulously observed period drama from a footsure and stylish writer with a fine sense of narrative pace.' The Age
'Vivid characterization and a breathless narrative pace create a riveting tale of fragile indigenous communities in pristine places vanishing before the febrile raptor-breath of capitalism . . . evocations of Chicago surprise and delight.' Australian Financial Review
Dominic Smith.s most recent novel is The New York Times and The Australian bestseller, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos. His third novel, Bright and Distant Shores was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year and the Victorian Premier's Prize for Fiction, and was named by Kirkus as one of the 'Best Books of 2011'.
Dominic.s awards include a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize and the Gulf Coast Fiction Prize. His debut novel, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Book and received the Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. His second novel, The Beautiful Miscellaneous, was a Booklist Editors' Choice and optioned for film by Southpaw Entertainment. His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly.
Born in the Blue Mountains, Dominic lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and family.
Short-listed Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, Fiction Award 2012 AU; Short-listed The Age Book of the Year, Fiction category 2011 AU; Short-listed Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction 2011 AU
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - B format