About the book

For over thirty years, Tim Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. 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. A brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, and a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.

Island home—book—Australian history—PMLA 2016
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About the author


Tim Winton has published 27 books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into 28 languages. Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for ShallowsCloudstreetDirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.

Tim Winton—author—Australian history—PMLA 2016

Judges’ comments

In this collection of biographical thought pieces, Tim Winton explores his emotional responses to the landscape of Western Australia. He summons Australias genteel urban population to master their alienation and uneasiness with the desolation, brutality and scale of the natural terrain, and engage with its mystery and splendour. Using anthropomorphic descriptions and domestic analogies, Winton unleashes a panorama of rich primordial energy and beauty, together with baleful undercurrents.

His yearning for communication with the bush, often expressed in searing prose and passionate argument, is a cri de coeur for environmental protection. Underlined by post-colonial guilt, shame of dispossession and the eco-warriors pursuit, it is nevertheless a valuable appeal for spiritual progress through affiliation with the land and acceptance of our vulnerability and minuscule significance.