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.
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.
Dominic Smith grew up in the Blue Mountains and in Bondi Beach but has spent half his life in the United States. He is the award-winning author of two novels published in the US, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre and The Beautiful Miscellaneous. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.
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 - C format