FLY AWAY PETER book cover   Fly Away Peter
David Malouf

Cover illustration by Mike Hollands

Dustjacket synopsis:
"For three very different people brought together by their love of birds, life on the Queensland coast in 1914 is the timeless and idyllic world of sandpipers, ibises and kingfishers.

"In another hemisphere civilization rushes headlong into a brutal conflict. Life there is lived from moment to moment.

"Inevitably, the two young men - sanctuary owner and employee - are drawn to the war, and into the mud and horror of the trenches of Armentieres. Alone on the beach, their friend Imogen, the middle-aged wildlife photographer, must acknowledge for all three of them that the past cannot be held."

"the continuities of nature are set against the obscenities of construct a memorable book" Sunday Telegraph
"The novel of a poet without a single trace of overwriting." Daily Telegraph

First Paragraph:

All morning, far over to his left where the light of the swamp ended and farmlands began, a clumsy shape had been lifting itself out of an invisible paddock and making slow circuits of the air, climbing, dipping, rolling a little, then disappearing below the trees.

The land in that direction rose gradually towards far, intensely blue mountains that were soft blue at this time of day but would later approach purple. The swamp was bordered with tea-trees, some of them half-standing in water and staining the shallows there a tobacco brown. Its light was dulled by cloud shadows, then, as if an unseen hand were rubbing it with a cloth, it brightened, and the silver shone through.

From the Penguin paperback edition, 1983.

This book was the winner of The Age Australian Book of the Year Award in 1982.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1997-2002 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: April 18, 2002.