To The Islands

To The Islands

3.92 (196 ratings by Goodreads)
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Exhausted and losing faith, Anglican minister Stephen Heriot abandons his mission in Australia's northwest. Wracked with guilt for his past transgressions, Heriot flees to the vast emptiness of the outback, searching for the islands of the Aboriginal dead. In the soul country of the desert he begins to reflect- was his life's work worthwhile? Are history's crimes also our own? Can any connection to be found in the unrelenting isolation of the land? A Lear-like tale of madness and destruction, To the Islands was heralded for its poetic mastery upon its publication, when Stow was only twenty-two. It went on to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. Stow substantially revised the novel for its republication in 1982. 'To the Islands is a deeply moving and compassionate novel whose message and wisdom is still important today, which is why it deserves to be recognised as an important work of Australian literature.' 'To the Islands is a masterpiece.' ANZ LitLovers
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 17.78mm | 180g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • ed
  • 1925240290
  • 9781925240290
  • 34,928

Review quote

`It should be taken as no commentary on contemporary Oz Lit that I choose Text's fistful of Randolph Stow reissues for my local favourite(s) during 2015. Their appearance reminds us that a gentle, wise, wounded, and immensely talented poet in prose once lived among us.' * Geordie Williamson, Australian Book Review, Books of the Year 2015 * `It is a rare pleasure for those of us who are already fans to have these works at our disposal...[Stow was] the most talented and celebrated Australian author of the post-White generation.' * Monthly * `Powerful and convincing...An Australian classic.' -- Anthony J. Hassall `To the Islands is a masterpiece.' * ANZ LitLovers * `To the Islands is a deeply moving and compassionate novel whose message and wisdom is still important today, which is why it deserves to be recognised as an important work of Australian literature.' * *
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About Randolph Stow

Julian Randolph `Mick' Stow was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, in 1935. He attended local schools before boarding at Guildford Grammar in Perth, where the renowned author Kenneth Mackenzie had been a student.

While at university he sent his poems to a British publisher. The resulting collection, Act One, won the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal in 1957-as did the prolific young writer's third novel, To the Islands, the following year. To the Islands also won the 1958 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Stow reworked the novel for a second edition almost twenty-five years later, but never allowed its two predecessors to be republished.

He worked briefly as an anthropologist's assistant in New Guinea-an experience that subsequently informed Visitants, one of three masterful late novels-then fell seriously ill and returned to Australia. In the 1960s he lectured at universities in Australia and England, and lived in America on a Harkness fellowship. He published his second collection of verse, Outrider; the novel Tourmaline, on which critical opinion was divided; and his most popular fiction, The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea and Midnite.

For years afterwards Stow produced mainly poetry, libretti and reviews. In 1969 he settled permanently in England: first in Suffolk, then in Essex, where he moved in 1981. He received the 1979 Patrick White Award.

Randolph Stow died in 2010, aged seventy-four. A private man, a prodigiously gifted yet intermittently silent author, he has been hailed as `the least visible figure of that great twentieth-century triumvirate of Australian novelists whose other members are Patrick White and Christina Stead'.
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Rating details

196 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 33% (65)
4 36% (71)
3 22% (44)
2 7% (13)
1 2% (3)
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