#AWW 2019 Drylands
- Author: Thea Astley (1925-2004)
- Title: Drylands
- Published: 1999
- Genre: novel
- Setting: Drylands and nearby town of Red Plains
- Trivia: 2000 winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
- Helen Garner once said in an interview: ‘
- Not being able to read after cataract surgery for 10 days
- …..was unbearable”
- I know how she felt.
- Desperate to quench my reading thirst
- ….I’m listening to Drylands by Thea Astley. (7 hrs 17 minutes)
- Perhaps when I can enjoy better vision
- ….I will re-read the paperback version.
- Astely’s prose is worth savoring again.
- In her flat above Drylands’ newsagency,
- Janet Deakin (voice of the author herself…)
- is writing a book for the world’s last reader.
- She describes a cast of oddball characters
- in the small bush town of Drylands.
- ...desperate housewife’s ‘Walk to Canossa”
- …unnerving bar noise ‘seeping in like conscience’
- …staring at the closed bar ‘the Legless Lizard’ with
- its door bolt ‘hanging like a limp hand’
- But the town is being outmaneuvered by drought
- and begins to empty
- “…pouring itself out like water into sand.”
- As Janet decides to sell her store
- “it wasn’t dust she wanted to shake off her feet
- ….it was memories”
- Last scrawled message on her desk: ‘Get a life…‘
- Her response: ‘Too late.‘
- These are just a few tidbits
- I remembered while listening
- to Thea Astley’s last masterpiece.
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