Land’s Edge by Tim Winton

downloadIf a genie suddenly appeared in my life and granted me one wish (and I couldn’t choose world peace or the demolition of poverty) then my wish would be to write like Tim Winton.

What a master he is!

I picked up this slim memoir for $1.00 at a school fair recently and it will go down as one of the best-spent dollars of my life.

Born in 1960, it is look at Winton’s life growing up as a child on the coast of Western Australia. My time and my stomping ground; it made me laugh and it made me cry. I had to read out passages aloud just to share the joy of Winton’s words.

But even if you are not from the area, Winton’s view of Australians as veranda dwellers will have you chuckling; you will appreciate a child’s delight in the discovery of reading and books while escaping from the afternoon summer heat; a child’s horror at watching whales being slaughtered; a child’s simple joy at fishing with his father; and a man’s ability to breath again arriving back from overseas to his home by the sea.

The book has the added bonus of stunning photographs by Narelle Autio.

Here is wonderful passage from page 37.
We are not sea people by way of being great mariners, but more a coastal people, content on the edge of things. We live by the sea not simply because it is more pleasant to a lazy nation, but because of the two mysteries (ocean and desert), the sea is more forthcoming…The innate human feeling from the veranda is that if you look out to sea long enough, something will turn up. We are a race of veranda dwellers…

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Winton, T. (1993) Land’s Edge: A Coastal Memoir (Pan Macmillan, ISBN: 0330361104, 107 pages.) 

My rating: ★★★★★ 

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