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  • Published: 19 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143790914
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $22.99

Dark Palace

Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

'Any of Frank Moorhouse's books are rewarding and stimulating. But his trilogy following a young Australian diplomat at the founding of the League of Nations is a masterpiece. In Edith Campbell Berry, his heroine, he created one of the enduring characters in literature. The trilogy is Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light. All are must reads.' - Michael Williams, Qantas magazine

Five years have passed since Edith Campbell Berry's triumphant arrival at the League of Nations in Geneva, determined to right the wrongs of the world. The idealism of those early Grand Days has been eroded by a sense foreboding as the world moves ever closer to another war. Edith's life too, has changed: her marriage and her work are no longer the anchors in her life – she is restless, unsure, feeling the weight of history upon her and her world.

As her certainties crumble, Edith is once again joined by Ambrose Westwood, her old friend and lover. Their reunion is joyful, and her old anxiety about their unconventional relationship is replaced by a feeling that all things are possible – at least in her private life.

But World War II advances inexorably, and Edith, Ambrose and their fellow officers must come to terms with the knowledge that their best efforts – and those of the well-meaning world – are simply useless against the forces of the time. Moving, wise and utterly engrossing, this is a profound and enriching novel. Grand Days and Dark Palace confirm Frank Moorhouse as one of our greatest writers – a master of tone and timing, an elegant and exuberant stylist, and an unerring chronicler of the human spirit.

  • Published: 19 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143790914
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse was born in the coastal town of Nowra, NSW. He worked as an editor of small-town newspapers and as an administrator and in 1970s became a full-time writer. He won national prizes for his fiction, non-fiction, and essays. He was best known for the highly acclaimed Edith trilogy, Grand Days, Dark Palace, and Cold Light, novels which follow the career of an Australian woman in the League of Nations in the 1920s and 1930s through to the International Atomic Energy Agency in the 1970s as she struggled to become a diplomat. His last book The Drover’s Wifea reading adventure published in October 2017, brings together works inspired by Henry Lawson’s story and examines the attachment Australia has to the story and to Russell Drysdale’s painting of the same name. Frank was awarded a number of fellowships including writer in residence at King’s College Cambridge, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. His work has been translated into several languages. He was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to literature in 1985 and was made a Doctor of the University by Griffith University in 1997 and a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Sydney, 2015. Frank Moorhouse died, in Sydney, on 26 June 2022.

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Praise for Dark Palace

A wonderful novel...Good writing, we may say, is the skill of making others perform well as readers. Read Grand Days then - you won't have performed better as a reader since you read Middlemarch.

Howard Jacobsen, Sunday Times

An irreducibly rich, sustained and complex work of the imagination.

The Independent

Funny, scary and extremely sexy...Truly a grand book.

UK Vogue

Moorhouse has for a long time been one of the most original and professional of Australian writers in the world of literature and English. Grand Days is the summit of this achievement.

Geoffrey Dutton, Australian Book Review

Edith Campbell Berry is one of the most winning women in contemporary fiction…The book would make an extraordinarily glamorous movie, and most actresses would brawl to play sexy, smart, plucky Edith.

Publishers Weekly

a big, luminous, affectionate and beautifully managed novel. It shows Frank Moorhouse passing from days of wine and rage to his own grand days.

Independent on Sunday

a fine achievement

Andrew Riemer, The Sydney Morning Herald

Moorhouse has written a novel of amplitude and resonance…It is his crowning achievement

Peter Pierce, The Bulletin

a considerable intellectual and artistic achievement

The Australian

With Dark Palace, Moorhouse transcends his nationality, with a literary achievement that flags a writer of the world.

Time Magazine

He makes you laugh, and think. Comparisons with Milan Kundera are not out of place, although Mr Moorhouse’s female characters are much more credible.

Angela Carter, The New York Times

A rich and enriching novel, out of its time but vital to it, whose writing is an inspiration.

The Guardian