Thursday, December 20, 2007


Tim Winton and Whales
One of my favourite authors of all time is Tim Winton. I read another of his novels this week, 'Shallows'. It is his second novel, and won the Miles Franklin award in 1984.
I love Tim Winton's stories because they are so real and gritty. I think they capture the pain and beauty of relationships of people with each other, and with the land. And they are very Australian.

This is a synopsis of 'Shallows'.

Winton places human stories within natural history, notably in Shallows (1986), where the action takes place during 1978 in Angelus, the last whaling town in Australia. The conflict between whalers and conservationists is personalized in the rupture between newly married Cleve and Queenie; she joins the protesters, while he becomes absorbed in an ancestor's 1831 diary of a whale ship voyage. Other historically rooted conflicts are taking place in the town, between landowner Des Pustling and a retiring but stubborn clergyman, while other local characters succumb to guilt and weariness. Meanwhile, Cleve and the now pregnant Queenie are reconciled, both nursing doubts about their causes, just as the annual migration of Humpback whales arrives offshore. (Dr Jules Smith, 2003)

If you want to read some more about Tim Winton there is a link here, and the transcript of his interview with Andrew Denton on 'Enough Rope' is here.

Tim Winton often writes about whales. A big coincidence - at the time I was reading 'Shallows', a friend sent me a link to a site name 'Whales Revenge'. There is a game to play and a petition to sign.

“Play the game, sign the petition and send it to all your friends”.. this is the simple message in a campaign by Melbourne man Patrick Bonello to raise awareness about the whale slaughter in the Southern Ocean by Japanese whalers.

1 comment:

Paul Merrill said...

It's hard to understand why anyone would want to kill something so big and so majestic.