Sea of Many Returns
by Arnold Zable
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The island of Homer's Odyssey has beguiled readers for millennia. Master storyteller Arnold Zable takes us to modern-day Ithaca, to its mountains, its villages and its harbours, and into the houses of its people.
Xanthe is drawn to Ithaca, the birthplace of her father Manoli and her maternal grandfather Mentor. She is translating Mentor's manuscript, his story of leaving Ithaca and his life in Australia: fleeing the Kalgoorlie riots, working in Melbourne coffee houses with his compatriots, studying in the State Library, and learning to dream his way back to Ithaca and back to his lost son.
Slowly she begins to understand her father's dark moods: the lure of the sea, the promise of fortune. And the ache for the hum of the Ionian winds, the rhythm of the looms and the silence of the rocky Ithacan soil.
Sea of Many Returns is a profound meditation on displacement, nostalgia and exile-a story that affirms the enduring resonance of the Odyssey for voyagers of all times.
'Here, once again, Zable embraces restless and heartsore characters, people whose deep longings are sketched with a few reverent gestures…the effect on the reader is profound.' Age
- The Text Publishing Company, May 2010
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