Tourmaline
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Tourmaline

3.78 (122 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Once prosperous, the town of Tourmaline in outback Western Australia is dying. The mines are drying up and the land is riddled by drought. Those townspeople left have little to do but wile away the hours with drink. Salvation of sorts arrives in the form of Michael Random, a mysterious water diviner who emerges from the desert. As the town's reluctant messiah Random begins to spread the word of Christ. Desperate for a reprieve, many of the locals are drawn to his teachings, but a stubborn few remain sceptical of their new leader. A post-apocalyptic parable, Tourmaline is Randolph Stow's most allusive and controversial novel. It remains a landmark in Australian literature more than half a century after its first publication. 'Intense and extraordinary.' Spectator 'Brilliantly evocative...disturbing.' Meanjin
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Product details

  • Paperback | 258 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 20.32mm | 191g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1925240304
  • 9781925240306
  • 166,147

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 * `Atmospheric...There is no denying its power.' * Guardian * 'Brilliantly evocative...disturbing.' * Meanjin * 'Intense and extraordinary.' * Spectator *
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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

122 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 26% (32)
4 40% (49)
3 20% (25)
2 12% (15)
1 1% (1)
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