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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742756387
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

The Mountain

'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.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742756387
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Drusilla Modjeska

Drusilla Modjeska is one of Australia's most acclaimed writers. She was born in England but lived in Papua before arriving in Australia in 1971. Her books include Exiles at Home; the NSW Premier's Award-winning Poppy; Sisters, which she co-edited; the Nita B. Kibble, NSW Premier's Award and Australian Bookseller's Book of the Year Award-winner The Orchard; Timepieces; and Secrets with Robert Dessaix and Amanda Lohrey. She is also the author of the bestselling Stravinsky's Lunch and her first novel, The Mountain, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Western Australia Premier's Award and the Barbara Jefferis Award.

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Praise for The Mountain

“The Mountain is an epic novel, sweeping in its reach and sumptuous in its realisation. It can only enhance Modjeska's already formidable reputation.”

Diane Stubbings, Canberra Times

“The Mountain is at once a luminous work of fiction and an anatomy of ideas of light and enlightenment. In the entwinement of large and smaller histories Modjeska brings her honed talents to the creation of a multifarious, extraordinary and dazzling novel that feels nothing like a debut.”

Felicity Plunkett, Weekend Australian

“A rewarding historical and human drama.”

Adelaide Advertiser

“The Mountain...is beautiful. It's complicated and multilayered, with people and meaning...its sense of place is extraordinary.”

Herald Sun

“The Mountain is a richly textured, satisfying complex effort of storytelling.”

Peter Pierce, The Saturday Age, Melbourne

“...The Mountain is a rich and rewarding story from an outstanding writer. Intelligently written with some exquisite description of the scenery and profound insight into relationships...”

Surf Coast Times

“...This is the best kind of novel, one that entertains, educates and leaves the reader in no doubt about the skill of its author.”

Michael Jacobson, Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

“Firsthand experience is woven with imagination, respectful observation, fraught history, contemporary politics, art and theory. The result is an important and compelling tale, gently bringing PNG into sharper focus.”

Emma Ashmore, Northern Rivers Echo

Awards & Recognition

  • ALS Gold Medal Award

    Longlisted • 2012 • ALS Gold Medal Award

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