Author(s): Joan London
'He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home.' Perth, 1954. Thirteen-year-old Frank, survivor of Nazi-occupied Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio. In hospital, he befriends Sullivan, a poet, who inspires Frank with his love of words and how they can change a life. When Frank is moved to The Golden Age, the polio convalescent home, he enters a little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs: love and desire, death and poetry. Where children must learn that they're alone, even within their families. Then one day Frank sees twelve-year-old Elsa in the Girls' ward, and they quickly form a forbidden, passionate bond...Written in Joan London's customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past, and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia's finest novelists.
Joan London is the author of two prize-winning collections of stories, SISTER SHIPS, which won the AGE Book of the Year in 1986, and LETTER TO CONSTANTINE, which won the Steele Rudd Award in 1994 and the Premier's Award for Fiction. These collections were published in one volume by Picador as THE NEW DARK AGE. In 2001 her first novel, GILGAMESH, was published, and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin, as well as a host of other awards, and chosen as the AGE Book of the Year for Fiction in 2002. It was also longlisted for the Orange Prize and the Dublin Impac. THE GOOD PARENTS, Joan London's most recent novel, was published in April 2008 to acclaim. It has since reprinted three times was the winner of the 2009 Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the NSW Premier's Literary award and was shortlisted for the AGE Fiction Book of the Year. It will be published in the UK and US as well as Europe in 2009.