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Allen & Unwin
28 October 2019
Fiction & Literature; Historical fiction; Religious & spiritual fiction; Christianity
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK -----  This is brilliant! It‘s the story of Saul, who on the road to Damascus underwent a profound an shattering experience which converted him from inimical intolerance to being a follower of Yeshua. Moving through time and viewpoints, it is a powerful evocation of a period of societal flux and the beginnings of a sect that was still working out its rules and tenets of belief. A strong and at times raw novel about faith and doubt, power and powerlessness, exile, sacrifice, superstitions and struggle, but also most importantly, of forgiveness. Lindy Jones

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'They kill us, they crucify us, they throw us to beasts in the arena, they sew our lips together and watch us starve. They bugger children in front of their mothers and violate men in front of their wives. The temple priests flay us openly in the streets. We are hunted everywhere and we are hunted by everyone ...

We are despised, yet we grow. We are tortured and crucified and yet we flourish. We are hated and still we multiply. Why is that? You have to wonder, how is it that we not only survive but we grow stronger?' Christos Tsiolkas' stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope, taking as its subject nothing less than events surrounding the birth and establishment of the Christian church. Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus nevertheless explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided - it's all here, the contemporary and urgent questions, perennial concerns made vivid and visceral.

In Damascus, Tsiolkas has written a masterpiece of imagination and transformation: an historical novel of immense power and an unflinching dissection of doubt and faith, tyranny and revolution, and cruelty and sacrifice.


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By:   Christos Tsiolkas
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   580g
ISBN:   9781760875091
ISBN 10:   1760875090
Pages:   440
Publication Date:   28 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for his novel, The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. His fifth novel, Barracuda, was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

  • Long-listed for Best Fiction 2020 (Australia)
  • Long-listed for Indie Book Awards 2020 (Australia)
  • Long-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2020 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Best Fiction 2020 (Australia)
  • Winner of Best Fiction 2020 (Australia)

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