The Complete Stories
by David Malouf
Alfred A. Knopf, USA
In this new collection of previously published short stories, David Malouf presents a haunting portrait of his Australian homeland. Malouf's language is gorgeous — incantatory, Faulknerian, often biblical. It startles and seduces, a scrim of dream which overlays a structure as carefully rendered as a poem or a piece of music. To read Malouf is to hear the voices of old story-tellers, evoking the underworlds of our psyches and our cultures. We are lured to them by that ancient part of ourselves that dares to enter these wild places, to retrieve in some measure what we have lost.
In the heretofore unpublished Every Move You Make: bookish boys and taciturn men, strong women and wayward sons, fathers and daughters, lovers and husbands, a composer and his muse, a builder-architect and his legacy—here are their stories, whole lives brought dramatically into focus and powerfully rooted in the vividly rendered landscape of the vast Australian continent, from the mysterious, glittering Valley of Lagoons in Far North Queensland to bohemian Sydney to Ayres Rock in the Great Victoria Desert. These tender, subtle, and intimate stories give us men and women looking for something they seem to have missed, or missed out on, puzzling over not only their own lives but also the place they have come to occupy in the lives of others.
Heartbreakingly beautiful, richly satisfying, The Complete Stories also includes David Malouf’s short fiction from Dream Stuff, Antipodes, and Child’s Play. It is a major literary event. (Source: randomhouse.com)
David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry. His novel The Great World was awarded both the Commonwelath Prize and the Prix Femina Étranger, and Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Australia.
“The biggest shock The New York Times Book Review gave me all year was when they relegated this milestone collection of Australian short stories to a fiction-in-brief roundup instead of giving it the front-cover treatment it deserved. Brisbane-born Malouf can be simultaneously humorous and sobering, sensitive and brutal, worldly and regional. Like John Cheever, Eudora Welty and Alice Munro, he finds rich meaning in fragmentary anecdotes and teasing truths in moments that shine yet decline to reveal all their secrets. This book provides an excellent introduction to his work." — Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
"Malouf is one of our finest writers, a poet with an ear for language that transforms an interesting concept into a classic meditation on the role of chance in each of our lives.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“A richly imagistic writer, philosophical and literary in the best sense.” — Washington Post Book World
“A storyteller of achievement, for whom simple things gracefully become totems for deeper thought.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer
"The stories of David Malouf are not easy to put into a category; they lift the reader across a line from memory and reality into another dimension without the reader's being aware that there ever was a line. Things can seem, in the delicate language and subtle rhythms of these stories, to be 'vividly, unbearably present, yet mysteriously far off' - a quotation from In Trust...This is such fine and confident writing; the reader senses the hand of a trustworthy guide." — The Age (Melbourne)
"As a single volume [The Complete Stories] has a monumental feel, summarising a writing life. Yet if monumental, it is not monolithic. As with the Watts Towers (Simon Rodia's epic conglomerate of scraps and shards in South Los Angeles), it is a grand achievement composed of small individual parts."—Sydney Morning Herald
Read a review of this book by in Pacific Rim Voices' WaterBridge Review.
Read Malouf's 2004 LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium Lecture
Author photo by Domino Postiglione.