A magical, dreamlike novel set in an apartment block in a French provincial town
Shortlisted, National Book Council 'Banjo' Award 1996
Shortlisted, Fantasy Division and Horror Division, Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction 1995
a vivid and engrossing novel. Patricia Rolfe, Bulletin
Brooks's first novel is haunting, a work of precision and delicacy, enigma and exactness. Philippa Hawker, Marie Claire
brings to mind the house in Tim Winton's Cloudstreet...Resonating with lost emotional energy, sighing and sobbing to itself in the echoing silences of the night. Ian McFarlane, Canberra Times
The House Of Balthus is a magical novel which has the intensity of a dream. Characters from the artist Balthus' paintings walk out of the canvas and take on a life of their own, sharing the spaces of an ancient chateau now turned apartment block in a large French provincial town. The concierge Mme Lecault watches closely her tenants, among them the Countess, the Professor, the Painter, Therese and her young lover Michael - but knows only the surface of their lives. She spends her sleepless nights talking to Mme Berry, who lives, it would appear, in another century.
There is a sound of sobbing, which echoes between rooms and across years; there is desire stretched so taut the page seems to vibrate with it, and the pain of lives where desire is no longer allowed.
David Brooks was born in Canberra in 1953. His collections of short fiction The Book Of Sei (1986) and Sheep And The Diva (1990) have each received high critical acclaim, and his stories have been widely translated and anthologised. He has also published a collection of essays about literature, The Necessary Jungle (1990), co-edited Poetry And Gender (1989) and edited the poetry of R.F.Brissenden and A.D.Hope. His partner is the poet Nicolette Stasko. They live in Sydney with their young daughter.
Short-listed, Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Division, 1995
Short-listed, National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1996
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - B format