THE PLACE WHERE SOULS ARE BORN book cover   The Place Where Souls Are Born

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Thomas Keneally's fascination with the landscape and spirit of the American Southwest began in the cinemas of his Australian childhood. But Westerns, he later discovered, conveyed only a partial, distorted image. Here, on a journey from the Colorado Rockies to the Mexican border, he describes a land as sparely beautiful as he had imagined but one also rich in cultural variety and steeped in the history of its native Indians."

"Packed with intriguing observations and nuggets of knowledge and informed by a deep, wondering respect for the ancient Anasazi" - The Independent on Sunday
"A sparse, beautiful and humane book, not least because its author's self-declared fear of immense landscapes - a quality which has allowed him to respond afresh to the sublime, terrifying scale of the Southwest" - The Daily Telegraph
"An extraordinary mixture of descriptive writing, meditation, history, reportage, memoir and philosophy...Discerning readers will find it a splendid guide to the region...thought-provoking, interesting and a great read" - Hampstead & Highgate Express

First Paragraph:

The Vogue Cinema was an art deco picture theater on Parramatta Road, Homebush, a western suburb of Sydney in which I spend the second half of my childhood. None of the glamour Americans rightly see in Australia seemed attached to Homebush. The place was noted mainly for its abattoirs and for its biscuit factory which filled the suburb with a short-bread fragrance every Wednesday. The Vogue picture theater though was - as cinemas were everywhere - our place of dreams and our secular cathedral. No one in Homebush had a staircase which approached for amplitude and aquamarine carpet the sweep of the Vogue's staircase. The statuary, moldings, and stucco grandeur all came from the other side of the Pacific and were in the best, excessive, Californian tradition.

From the Sceptre paperback edition, 1993.

Web Notes:
You can read a very brief review of this book by Danny Yee.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1998-2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: November 26, 2001.