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This remarkable book combines autobiography with a subtle, almost painterly sense of the ways in which the objects which we surround ourselves, and the places in which we live, build up our private maps of reality and shape our personal mythologies. David Malouf begins by describing in love, evocative detail, the house in Brisbane where he was born and grew up, moving from room to room, always relating the smallest items in it to the life he remembers and his widening perception of the world at large. He moves on to describe life in the Tuscan village where he lived, and the arrival of an Australian Television crew; reflecting on his first visit to India, he touches on the problems of interpreting and evaluating unfamiliar places; back in Australia, he recalls a traumatic wartime journey with his father from Brisbane to Sydney. Funny, humane and beautifully written, this is a unique and extraordinary essay in autobiography.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    February 5, 1999


    160 pages

    RRP $24.99

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 31, 2012

    Vintage Digital

    160 pages

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Also by David Malouf

Being There
The Writing Life
A First Place
The Conversations At Curlew Creek
Harland's Half Acre
The Complete Stories
Every Move You Make
Dream Stuff
Jane Eyre
The Great World
Fly Away Peter
An Imaginary Life
Child's Play
The Conversations At Curlow Creek
Remembering Babylon


Heroes of Hamel
Down Under
Island Home
Are We There Yet?
The Making of Martin Sparrow
Our Australian Girl: The Pearlie Stories
Wide Sargasso Sea
The Fatal Shore
Living on Paper
The Invention of Angela Carter
Of All That Ends
The Life of Saul Bellow
The Rise and Fall of Australia
Joseph Anton
Journals 1990-1992
The Facts
Journals Vol II
You've Had Your Time