(Australian, 1960– )
Born in Perth, Winton has lived in France, Ireland, and Greece as well as Australia. Family, and relations between children and parents are central to his writing. Start with The Riders (1995, Booker Prize shortlisted). Scully's wife disappears, and he drags his daughter Billie from Ireland across Europe in a desperate search for her, feeling himself bereft and incomplete. During their journey Billie becomes ill and Scully irresponsible and half-crazed; the novel's resolution, as Scully recognizes that he will not be one of the Riders, ‘faithful in all weathers and all worlds, waiting for something promised’, but rather that he can be happy in the present with Billie, is satisfying and moving. Next read Cloud Street (1991), a wonderful saga about two neighbouring families, one respectable, one feckless; a big, ambitious novel which is heart-warming without being sentimental. That Eye the Sky (1986) powerfully charts a young boy's troubled adolescence.
Peter Carey, Christina Stead, Anne Tyler. See AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND JR