Visitants
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Visitants

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Description

When Patrol Officer Alistair Cawdor commits suicide on a small island off New Guinea a colonial inquest is launched. Five witnesses are called to give testimony- the government interpreter, the territory's cadet officer, a planter who claims ownership of the island, one of his servants and the son of the local chief. Each has a disturbing story to tell. Cawdor's secret past will eventually be put together, piece by damning piece. But what of the ominous newcomer Metusela, and the unidentified visitant that has inspired a cargo cult? First published in 1979, Randolph Stow's novel Visitants was informed by the author's own time in the Trobriand Islands two decades earlier. It is one of the most potent examinations of Australian colonialism. 'A brilliant, ambitious novel.' Sydney Morning Herald 'Tautly and vibrantly written, and brilliantly evocative of its Trobriand Islands setting.' Australian Book Review
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 17.78mm | 201g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • ed
  • 1925240274
  • 9781925240276
  • 244,255

Review quote

`Stow is an exceptional writer, truly gifted at capturing the natural environment as well as the essential physical and psychological characteristics of his characters. What makes his work memorable however is his examination of human connections...Beautiful.' * Salty Popcorn * `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 * `Storytelling at its very best...An extraordinary novel.' * Boston Globe * `Tautly and vibrantly written, and brilliantly evocative of its Trobriand Islands setting.' * Australian Book Review * `A brilliant, ambitious novel.' * Sydney Morning Herald *
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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

54 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 31% (17)
4 48% (26)
3 13% (7)
2 4% (2)
1 4% (2)
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