"On the south coast of Western Australia a battle has begun. Conservationists and whalers confront each other on the seas, townspeople bicker and connive in the streets, while in the midst of it all, a marriage collapses and an old man, stalked by death, flees his past and the God of his forefathers.
"This complex and ambitious novel won Tim Winton the 1984 Miles Franklin Award, confirming him as one of Australia's most promising literary talents."
"Shallows is a profound and inspiring work of fiction" - David Myers, The Age
"I finished this book with a rare sense of elation" - Donna Sadka West Australian
"...his fiction is full of care, in all three senses - of craftmanship, of moral concern, and of a sobriety before the facts of life" - Don Anderson National Times
Here - it is 1831 on the southernmost tip of the newest and oldest continent, the bottom of the world. In the wintery gauze of dawn, the American whaler Family of Man weighs anchor and leaves the harbour and its search for deserters. An hour later, the Governor of the British Colony of Angelus, a gobular man with regally inflamed haemorrhoids, watches the races. Because horses are so precious in the colony, it is the men who race; first the enlisted men, and then the convicts. The enlisted men in their shirtsleeves laugh together in the wild stubble beside the Governor's marquee. They have already raced and bloodied themselves, but their race is but a preliminary event, and with different rules. All eyes are on the shambling figures of two convicts who roll keg-sized stones up the flank of Mount Clement.
From the Unwin paperback edition, 1985.
This novel won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984.
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Last modified: February 14, 2002.