No. 13 – Most Popular Aussie Novels of All Time
by Clayton Wehner - December 12th, 2010
At #13 – Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
27.7% of all respondents have read this book
Synopsis for Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
Cloudstreet is a novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. It chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, over a period of twenty years, 1943 – 1963. It was the recipient of a Miles Franklin Award in 1992.
Precipitated by separate personal tragedies, two families flee their rural livings to share a “great continent of a house”, Cloudstreet, in the Perth suburb of Dalkeith. The two families are contrasts to each other; the Lambs find meaning in industry and in God’s grace; the Pickles, in luck. The Lambs’ God is a maker of miracles; the Pickles’ God is the ‘Shifty Shadow’ of fate. Though initially resistant to each other, their search and journey for meaning in life concludes with the uniting of the two families with many characters citing this as the most important aspect of their lives. As a novel, Cloudstreet is tightly structured, opening and ending with a shared celebratory family picnic – a joyous occasion which, ironically, is also the scene of Fish’s long sought-after death or return to the water. The novel is narrated effectively by flashback “in the seconds it takes to die” by Fish Lamb, or the ‘spiritual’ omniscient Fish Lamb, free of his restricting retarded state. As such the novel gives a voice to social minorities, the Australian working class and the disabled.
About Tim Winton (Books by Tim Winton…)
Timothy John Winton (born 4 August 1960), known as Tim Winton, is an Australian novelist and short story writer. He was born in Perth, Western Australia, but moved at a young age to the regional city of Albany.
Whilst studying at Curtin University of Technology, Winton wrote his first novel, An Open Swimmer, which won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1981, launching his writing career. He has stated that he wrote “the best part of three books while at university”. His second book, Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984. It wasn’t until Cloudstreet was published in 1991, however, that his writing career was properly established.
Winton has been named a Living Treasure by the National Trust and awarded the Centenary Medal for service to literature and the community. He is patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers sponsored by the City of Subiaco, Western Australia. He has lived in Italy, France, Ireland and Greece but currently lives in Fremantle, near Perth, Western Australia with his wife and three children.
The List so far…
#19 - My Place by Sally Morgan
#22 – Dirt Music by Tim Winton
#23 – Breath by Tim Winton