Reading List: The Turning

Reading List: The Turning

This may just be thematically linked, but we will see. But the preview caught me—I have a thing for lonely coastal stretches 🙂

Here’s the rest of the blurb from Goodreads:

“Brothers cease speaking to each other, husbands abandon wives and children, grown men are haunted by childhood fears. People struggle against the weight of their own history and try to reconcile themselves to their place in the world. With extraordinary insight and tenderness, Winton explores the demons and frailties of ordinary people whose lives are not what they had hoped.”

And here’s a bit from this interview with the author which also caught my attention:

“[interviewer]: In this book of short stories, The Turning, in a couple of instances you refer to just the power that adolescence has over you for the rest of your life – you still very much are that person. Do you still feel strongly the emotions of those teenage years?

“Tim: Yeah, I think that adolescents and people in middle age have an enormous amount in common. I think they’re both times when you feel a little bewildered, a little overcome, confused. You feel under kind of weird pressures that you can’t come to terms with. And the strange thing is that when you’re in middle age, the kinds of things that you’re dealing with are almost mutated versions of the same things you were dealing with when you were a teenager. In fact, you still in some sense are the teenager that you were. You’re just dealing with the consequences of the things that you did when you were 14, 15, 16, 17, the people you knew, the things that happened to you, the things that you were afraid of, the ways in which you tried to cope. And it sort of comes back to you in a scary way. I mean superficially, of course, people then – particularly baby boomers – try and relive their childhood. They try and edit it, you know – “I didn’t do these things, therefore I’m going to do this now.”

I really like what Winton is saying here. It’s a lot of the same thinking I have had about following my characters, especially Carrie and Jon up through life from teens to middle age and further on. And then kind of start over with their kids, with many of the same themes, just for a new time.

Also, it seems, Winton is a rather well-known Aussie novelist, so I suspect I will be in company with someone who can deliver a really good read. It says on Wiki that he has been named “Living Treasure” in Australia. Not bad 🙂 I hadn’t heard of him but I certainly look forward to get to know his stories better, and I will start with this one.


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