Island Home // Tim Winton
"Spread below us, the land is flat and golden, all its undulations etched into shadow. Wheat stubble is sectioned into orderly rectangles. Sheep pads spider away from dams and troughs. From above, the windmills are barely visible. Rare clumps of trees stand in vivid contrast to the bleached summer pastures. When sheep move, as hot milk split across a tawny cloth, dust rises like steam in their wake."
Synopsis [[From Amazon]]
“I grew up on the world's largest island.”
This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative, and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing.
For over thirty years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him—rockpools, seacaves, scrub, and swamp—was as vital as any other connection. Camping in hidden inlets of the south-east, walking in the high rocky desert fringe, diving at Ningaloo Reef, bobbing in the sea between sets, Winton has felt the place seep into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance, and learned to see landscape as a living process.
Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing, and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.
Wise, rhapsodic, exalted—Island Home is not just a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, but a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are
Thoughts // Review
"Tim Winton's Island Home isn't memoir, it's a cultural call to arms" Jamie Hanson, The Guardian
I could not have said this better myself. ISLAND HOME, is marketed as a landscape memoir. And it is; however, it's a deeply ruminating book that makes you question your life, your choices, and it even made me question the way I formed memories of my childhood.
Now, you know that you're an amazing writer, when you have the ability to take someone so deep into their past, that it allows them to reform their perception of their own life. When the author can allow you to relive moments of your life, that you know if you hold on to tightly enough - will keep you for a lifetime.
In childhood you own little more than your secret places, the thoughts in your head. Everything else is lent to you on stern terms, so privacy and power are rare commodities. When I was a kid the house always seemed crowded. Every space, every morsel of food, every moment of quiet was contested - the shared bedroom, the tiny bathroom, the precious minutes alone in the dunny. I nurtured what privacy I had in the crooks of marri trees and burnt out logs or in the balding hollows behind scrubby dunes. As much as I could feel it pressing on my skin, the world was growing inside my head.
I feel like I could take so many small, even 10 word lines from this book & write a whole paper on my life mottos and philosophies. This book is about so much more than landscape. It is a metaphor for life.
Our future is organic and material. The earth is our home, our only home. And if home and family aren't sacred, what else can be?
My Rating: 5/5 Stars