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'A novel as intricate and powerful as the bark-cloth paintings at its heart' -- Anna Funder

'A novel as intricate and powerful as the bark-cloth paintings at its heart' -- Anna Funder

In 1968 Papua New Guinea is on the brink of independence, and everything is about to change. Amidst the turmoil filmmaker Leonard arrives from England with his Dutch wife, Rika, to study and film an isolated village high in the mountains. The villagers' customs and art have been passed down through generations, and Rika is immediately struck by their paintings on a cloth made of bark.

Rika and Leonard are also confronted with the new university in Moresby, where intellectual ambition and the idealism of youth are creating friction among locals such as Milton - a hot-headed young playwright - and visiting westerners, such as Martha, to whom Rika becomes close. But it is when Rika meets brothers Jacob and Aaron that all their lives are changed for ever.

Drusilla Modjeska's sweeping novel takes us deep into this fascinating, complex country, whose culture and people cannot escape the march of modernity that threatens to overwhelm them. It is a riveting story of love, loss, grief and betrayal.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143790891

    March 19, 2018

    Penguin

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • 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

  • Paperback

    9781742758954

    May 1, 2013

    Vintage Australia

    448 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • 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

    9781742756387

    May 1, 2012

    Random House Australia

    464 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • ALS Gold Medal Award
    2012
    Longlisted
    ALS Gold Medal Award

Also by Drusilla Modjeska

Second Half First

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To Kill A Mockingbird
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The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
There It Is Again
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
The Golden Age
Tiger Men
Fifty Shades Darker
The Light Between Oceans
Ready Player One
A Long Way from Home
The Secret Vineyard
The Travelling Cat Chronicles