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  • Published: 30 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143782681
  • Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $29.99
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The True Colour of the Sea




The long-awaited new collection of short stories from Australia’s master of the short-story genre.

An artist marooned on a remote island in the Arafura Sea contemplates his survival chances. He understands his desperate plight and the ocean’s unrelenting power. But what is its true colour?

A beguiling young woman nurses a baby by a lake while hiding brutal scars. Uneasy descendants of a cannibal victim visit the Pacific island of their ancestor’s murder. A Caribbean cruise of elderly tourists faces life with wicked optimism.

Witty, clever, ever touching and always inventive, the eleven stories in The True Colour of the Sea take us to many varied coasts: whether a tense Christmas holiday apartment overlooking the Indian Ocean or the shabby glamour of a Cuban resort hotel.

Relationships might be frayed, savaged, regretted or celebrated, but here there is always the life-force of the ocean – seducing, threatening, inspiring.

In The True Colour of the Sea, Robert Drewe – Australia’s master of the short story form – makes a gift of stories that tackle the big themes of life: love, loss, desire, family, ageing, humanity and the life of art.

  • Pub date: 30 July 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143782681
  • Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $29.99

About the Author

Robert Drewe

Robert Drewe is the author of seven novels, four books of short stories, two memoirs, six other works of non-fiction and two plays. His work has been widely translated, and adapted for film, television, theatre and radio.

Also by Robert Drewe

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Praise for The True Colour of the Sea

“An elegant collection, muscular and subtle, from one of the best writers in Australia.”

The Weekend Australian

“With his narrative inventiveness, and the deft combination of a light touch and dark sensibility, Drewe offers a fresh perspective on oceanic themes - freedom, cleansing and renewal along with their obverse of entrapment, muck and danger. Playful undercurrents and perilous rips of eroticism run through these tales.”

The Saturday Paper

“[Drewe's stories] are dark but they are thrilling, and they roll along, taking the reader into marvellous places on the face of the Earth, as well as biting into truly terrible parts of the mind, the heart and the spirit.”

The Weekend Australian


Awards & Recognition

  • Colin Roderick Award

    Shortlisted • 2019 • Colin Roderick Award


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