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Questions of Travel

Michelle de Kretser    
Availability: Out of print
Format: Hard Cover
Pages: 528
AUD $39.99inc. GST
Questions of Travel


A dazzling, compassionate and deeply moving novel from one of world literature's rising stars.


A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.

Praise for The Lost Dog:

'This is the best novel I have read in a long time.' - AS Byatt

'a beautiful piece of writing - place your bets now for the Booker.' - Kate Saunders, The Times

Praise for The Hamilton Case:

'one of the most remarkable books I've read in a long while - subtle and mysterious, both comic and eerie, and brilliantly evocative of time and place. I've never been to Sri Lanka but I feel it's become part of my interior landscape, and I so much admire Michelle de Kretser's formidable technique - her characters feel alive, and she can create a sweeping narrative which encompasses years, and yet still retain the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail. It's brilliant. (Booker judges, where were you?)' - Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall


Short-listed, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2014
Long-listed, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2014
Winner, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, 2014
Short-listed, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, 2014
Winner, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW, 2014
Short-listed, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, Fiction Prize, 2014
Winner, Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2013
Winner, ALS Gold Medal, 2013
Winner, Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction, 2013
Short-listed, Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2013
Long-listed, Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2013
Winner, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Premier's Prize, 2013
Winner, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Fiction Prize, 2013
Short-listed, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Premier's Prize, 2013
Short-listed, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Fiction Prize, 2013
Short-listed, Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction, 2013
Short-listed, Indie Awards, Fiction, 2013
Short-listed, Stella Prize, 2013
Short-listed, ALS Gold Medal, 2013
Short-listed, Nita B Kibble Literary Award for Women Writers, 2013
Short-listed, Adelaide Festival for Literature, 2014

Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia when she was 14. Educated in Melbourne and Paris, Michelle has worked as a university tutor, an editor and a book reviewer. She is the author of The Rose Grower, The Hamilton Case, which won the Commonwealth Prize (SE Asia and Pacific region) and the UK Encore Prize, and The Lost Dog, which was widely praised by writers such as AS Byatt, Hilary Mantel and William Boyd and won a swag of awards, including: the 2008 NSW Premier's Book of the Year Award and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, and the 2008 ALS Gold Medal. The Lost Dog was also shortlisted for the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, the Western Australian Premier's Australia-Asia Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Asia-Pacific Region) and Orange Prize's Shadow Youth Panel. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction.

ISBN: 9781743311004
Australian Pub.: October 2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Subject: Literary fiction
Edition Number:

Reader reviews

'Is travel about escape or going somewhere? You can do both by reading this book which is singularly satisfying for mind and heart.

'...This book is fascinating, almost hypnotic. It's literature - where the form has something to say about the content - without feeling overly contrived. The everyday and the disturbing co-exist in a steady delivery that is both matter-of-fact – almost deadpan -  and disturbing. Two merging storylines – Sydneysider traveller Laura's and Sri Lankan Ravi's - pose questions about the curious phenomena of being a traveller and a tourist, in ways that are sometimes pointed, sometimes subtle. Their observations and actions, and those of their international entourage, teeter between the delicious and the dire. And some bits are just plain hilarious.

'What might be transcendent assumes the weight of the everyday. Like the tourist, we watch foreign scenery flashing by, aiming our camera at what is just ordinary life for the locals. Like internet-users, as Ravi observes, we experience a world where "the internet abolishing distance undermined relativity, it offered sapphires and plastic with an even hand".

This itinerary is not like everyone else's. Laura, Ravi and their eclectic history of countries, friends and families will enthrall you and transport you to dizzy heights. Impressive.' - A. Deborde, QLD

'This is a marvelously clever and enjoyable novel. It's two intertwined stories – one of the Australian, Laura, with the melodrama of her travels, loves and career, and one of the Sri Lankan Ravi who suffers some serious drama.

'There's a bevy of friends and associates, wonderfully created and introduced in digestible chunks, who alter the direction of the protagonists' lives. Their personalities ring true with some of them verging on chick-lit caricature, which provides humour.

'Laura's friend Tracy and her colleague Paul are fabulous characters. In contrast, some of Ravi's world is very sobering – and that's a great achievement in writing.

'If you want, a new, absorbing and intelligent approach to a story about travelers, check in now for Questions of Travel. This is a novel for the serious traveller, and for those who wonder why they do it.' - Martin

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