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  • (Out of Stock) The Finley Confession

(Out of Stock) The Finley Confession

Proverse Prize Winner 2020

George Watt

English , 2021/11 Proverse Hong Kong

Tags: Fiction, Novel

215 x 140 mm , 280pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-8492-30-5

  • US$22.00

Out Of Stock
In 2010 two septuagenarians reminisce on a balcony overlooking a former town and river valley inundated fifty years before by the damned waters of the massive Snowy Mountain Scheme. One of them, Ralph McDonald, feels compelled to retell dramatic events from his youth, ones related to things hidden in the depths of his conscience and in the waters themselves. An unlikely trio of late teenagers—the scion of Australian landed gentry, the brilliant son of middle-class Canberra academics, and the humble son of the local garage owner—together spend uncomplicated school holidays until the catalytic arrival of two individuals: an intense half Aboriginal boy who inhabits his deceased grandmother’s shack, and a singer from a distant world of glamour appearing for the winter season at the only major ski lodge in the surrounding national park.  As the confession reveals, little by little, the trio—seemingly the embodiment of the Australian egalitarian myth of mateship—is poisoned by snobbery, vindictiveness, complex sexualities, deception and, above all, interpersonal exploitation. Working through an amalgam of literary genres (bildungsroman, mystery tale, and the historic novel), The Finley Confession is a critical account of race, class and gender in contemporary Australia, but it also brings into question who owns any story and why. 
“Highly readable and thoroughly entertaining… a writerly novel, calling into question the very authority of any teller of tales.” 
—Dr Sandra Lindemann, Accredited Editor, Australian and New Zealand Institute of Professional Editors.

“The novel perfectly captures the Snowy Mountains of the 1960s… a coming-of-age story of great power and intensity as the narrator finds himself torn between two classes, two races… and two loves. At times matter-of-fact and conversational, at other times, laced with lyrical beauty and wry observation.”
 —A.J. Mackinnon, author of The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow and The Well at the World’s End.

“With poetic aplomb and a fondness for frank and unsettling insights, The Finley Confession plumbs a lost Australian landscape to sound the depths of fractured masculinity.”
―Sean Williams, #1 New York Times bestselling author.

George Watt is an academic and author. His published works include critical studies such as The Fallen Woman in the 19th Century English Novel recently rereleased by Routledge, and the first full-length study of an influential postcolonial writer in Interlogue Studies in Singapore Literature Volume 5: Robert Yeo.  His poetry has appeared in four volumes of Mingled Voices, and his collection, Sandpaper Swimming: going after Burke and Wills, was published by Flying Island Books in 2019.  He has held academic posts in Australia, USA, Japan and Macau, including at the Australian National University, several years as Professor Dean in the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Asian Studies at Nagoya Shoka Daigaku, and finally as Founding Master in the recent collegiate restructuring of the University of Macau. The Finley Confession is his first novel. 

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