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The Beachcomber's Wife

Adrian Mitchell

The Beachcomber's Wife
It should have been a paradise, but paradise is what you lose, it is what you might have had.

An elderly woman who has lived for many years on a tropical island off the Queensland coast with her beachcomber husband waits for help from the mainland. For three harrowing days, alone. He has died, his body lies in their cabin just up from the beach, and while she awaits help she reviews her reclusive life there, of nearly 25 years with him. She is a woman with a glint in her mind's eye.

The Beachcomber's Wife draws upon the published writings of E.J. Banfield, who lived an isolated life with his wife Bertha on Dunk Island through the first decades of the twentieth century. He made very little reference to her in his work (Confessions of a Beachcomber and others). This account imagines what it might have been like from her point of view. It follows Banfield's practice, of fact cemented with fiction.

Praise for The Beachcomber's Wife:
'Artfully constructed ... Adrian Mitchell has written a thought-provoking fiction in The Beachcomber’s Wife.' - Lisa Hill, ANZ Litlovers Litblog

'A beautifully told story of one woman’s struggle to make a home against all the odds ... Adrian Mitchell’s exquisite writing captures the essence of the island in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the life upon it.' - Phillip Howlette, The Compulsive Reader

Adrian Mitchell retired from academic life at the University of Sydney in 2006, though he has remained an honorary research associate in the Department of English since then. In the respite from that kind of confusion he has managed to publish five previous books, all with Wakefield Press, and all hovering about the interface of fiction and nonfiction; as again here. These are all stories of people and communities that should be better known than they are - the people, that is, but the books too ... Plein Airs and Graces was short-listed in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

He now lives on the edge of Kuring-gai Chase at the northern perimeter of Sydney.
Details
Category Literature - Fiction
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743054550
Extent 184 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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