The Bay of Contented Men
"Of Robert Drewe's best-selling collection, The Bodysurfers, TIME said: 'His short stories are front-page featurettes transformed by poetic vision.' NEWSWEEK said: 'His characters repeatedly hurl themselvesa at life and lovers. There is something very powerful and poignant in these stories.'
"Now, in his first book of stories since The Bodysurfers, Drewe transforms the desires and tensions of late-twentieth century Australia into new areas of narrative.
"In stories which are witty and seductive, inventive and disturbing, Drewe's charcaters face the confrontations of gender, cultures, race and generations. Theirs is an ironic desperation born of love and lust, wistful memory and fear of the future.
"The twelve stories in The Bay of Contented Men range in location from east and west coast Australia to the United States, Japan and Hong Kong. This is the neighborhood of this nation of edgy suburbanites whose lives and misadventures are conjured here into intrguing factions.
"In The Bay of Contented Men Drewe traverses new fictional territory as well as covering the domain he has already made his own. With compassion, humour and masterful stylistic precision he provides further proof of his distinctive presence in contemporary literature."
The First Motel
The Lawyers of Africa
The Needle 'Story'
All the Boys
Life of a Barbarian
The Hammett Spiel
The Bat of Contented Men
First Paragraph from the Title Story
Sally said that Vincent was in Stanley Prison, just up the hill, for 'some white-collar crime'.
'So - you'll need to find another apartment when he gets out,' Andrea said to her as they headed down the hill towards the tiny lights bobbing on the beach.
'Oh, I don't think so', Sally said, and laughed her skittish laugh. The laugh, the glint in her eyes, hinted that she wasn't herself, or was too much herself, at the moment.
Vincent owned Sally's apartment back on Stanley Beach Road where, at her urging, Ed and Andrea had stopped only long enough to drop off their bags and change into swimming costumes. Sally said she'd never met Vincent but the note in her laugh reminded Andrea, still giddy from the flight and the temperature change, of a certain mood of Sally's from her Green Dwarf period.
Possibly due to the influence of her father, an astronomer knighted for discovering changes to the color index of stars, Sally gave her men nicknames to do with colors. The Green Dwarf had come before the Black Knave and the White Prince, but his nickname said as much about her own self-image as her feelings for him.
From the Picador hardback edition, 1989.
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Last modified: December 24, 2005.