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Book Title: Maralinga, My Love|
The author of the book: Dorothy Johnston
Edition: Mcphee Gribble Publishers
Date of issue: 1988
ISBN 13: 9780140118308
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 18.13 MB
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Loaded: 1772 times
Reader ratings: 5.5
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Maralinga My Love: A Novel explores the distinctively Australian brand of mateship of the post-war era, when men bonded through their shared distrust of authority as much any other affiliation.
Dorothy Johnston’s spare prose evokes the dust, heat, sweat and monotony of life in the South Australian desert as Graham Falconer, his boss and mentor Charlie Hamilton, and their fellow Australian Army recruits set up the sites for the British atomic tests carried out in the 1950s and 60s:“Graham looked straight at Charlie. For an instant Charlie’s eyes reflected the enormous light and transmitted it, so that Graham thought that, disobeying orders, he’d watched the flash and been blinded by it. Then he saw that what affected Charlie’s sight were tears.
Once the light from the bomb had gone, there was nothing to see. The hundreds of men who’d lined up to watch stood silently. Then a cheer went up, and another, and the crowd broke up in a burst of shouting and laughter.”
Graham and his crew later encounter an Indigenous family who have wandered into the contaminated area:“The native was standing straight and still, close to the edge of the Marcoo crater, and not far off was a woman holding a young child, with an older child next to her… [It] occurred to Graham that he’d seen something like it before, something or someone on the edge of his vision during one of the endless empty afternoons at Station Creek.”
After the British depart, Graham and Charlie remain at Maralinga to carry out maintenance work, and Graham finds evidence of the British authorities’ carelessness. The weight of this knowledge dogs Graham for years, as he wonders how far he can push the issue and continue his career in the Department of Defence in Canberra.
Maralinga My Love is a deeply unsettling book, telling the story of a dark period in Australia’s recent past in such a prosaic way that it’s easy to forget it’s a novel.
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Read information about the authorDorothy Johnston is the author of eleven novels. Her tenth, and the first in a new sea-change mystery series, was published in April 2016. It is titled Through a Camel's Eye. Dorothy has published a quartet of detective novels set in Canberra. The first of these, The Trojan Dog, was joint winner ACT Book of the Year, and the Age gave it their ‘Best of 2000’ in the crime section. It was published in Australia by Wakefield Press and in the United States by St Martin’s Press. The second, The White Tower, was also published in Australia and North America, and the third, Eden, appeared in 2007. All three feature the cyber-sleuth Sandra Mahoney and her partner, Ivan Semyonov, along with Detective Sergeant Brook, of the ACT police. With Eden, Dorothy returned to the subject of prostitution, which has long interested her and provided inspiration. Her first novel, Tunnel Vision, is set in a Melbourne massage parlour. The House at Number 10 (Wakefield Press 2005) continues this theme. Two of her other literary novels, One for the Master and Ruth, have been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award. She has had numerous short stories published in magazines and anthologies.
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