> Skip to content

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life, from one of Australia's most loved novelists.

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists.

He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home.

It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At the Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond.

The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families.

Written in Joan London's customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia's finest novelists.

'London's prose is a seamlessly shifting blend of poetry, pathos and humor' Washington Post

Reviews

[Joan London] has already proven in novels such as Gilgamesh and The Good Parents to be our finest living writer of marriage and family life. The Golden Age burnishes these credentials: it is her most accomplished and keenly felt work to date. Every other book I read this year will seem loud and blatant beside it.

Geordie Williamson, The Australian

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781741666441

    August 1, 2014

    Vintage Australia

    256 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780857981547

    August 1, 2014

    Random House Australia

    256 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
  • Paperback

    9780143790266

    March 19, 2018

    Penguin

    256 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • Nita B Kibble Literary Awards
    2015
    Winner
    Kibble Literary Award
  • NSW Premier's People's Choice Award
    2015
    Joint winner
    NSW Premier's People's Choice Award
  • Prime Minister's Literary Awards
    2015
    Winner
    Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction
  • Queensland Literary Awards
    2015
    Winner
    Queensland Literary Award for Fiction
  • 2015
    Shortlisted
    Asher Literary Award
  • ALS Gold Medal Award
    2015
    Shortlisted
    ALS Gold Medal
  • Asher Literary Award
    2015
    Shortlisted
    Asher Literary Award
  • Australian Book Industry Awards
    2015
    Shortlisted
    Australian Book Industry Awards Literary Fiction Book of the Year
  • Miles Franklin Literary Award
    2015
    Shortlisted
    Miles Franklin Literary Award
  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards
    2015
    Shortlisted
    NSW Premier's Literary Awards: Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
  • The Stella Prize
    2015
    Shortlisted
    The Stella Prize
  • Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
    2016
    Winner
    Western Australian Premier's Book Awards

Also by Joan London