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The Good Parents
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Joan London
The Good Parents by Joan London at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Good Parents

Joan London



Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


368 pages

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London s prose is a seamlessly shifting blend of poetry, pathos and humor. -- The Washington Post WINNER OF THE 2009 CHRISTINA STEAD AWARD FOR FICTION. Maya de Jong, an eighteen-year-old country girl from the West, comes to live in Melbourne and starts an affair with her boss, the enigmatic Maynard Flynn, whose wife is dying of cancer. When Maya's parents, Toni and Jacob, arrive to stay with her, they are told by her housemate that Maya has gone away and no one knows where she is. As Toni and Jacob wait and search for Maya in Melbourne, everything in their lives is brought into question. They recall the yearning and dreams, the betrayals and choices of their pasts - choices with unexpected and irrevocable consequences. With Maya's disappearance, the lives of all those close to her come into focus, to reveal the complexity of the ties that bind us to one another, to parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers. Pacy and enthralling, The Good Parents is at once a vision of contemporary Australia and a story as old as fairytales- that of a runaway girl.

By:   Joan London
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 199mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   298g
ISBN:   9781741666526
ISBN 10:   174166652X
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   April 2009
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

The disappearance of a naive young woman leads backward into a dissection of roots, family and friends in the praised Australian writer's second novel (Gilgamesh, 2003). Everything we are, why we do what we do, is formed in childhood, learns one of the characters. The narrative corroborates this opinion, looking into the backgrounds, turning points and developments of all the principal characters surrounding Maya de Jong, the 18-year-old country girl who arrives in Melbourne, gets a job, starts an affair with her predatory boss, then vanishes. London tracks back into the formative influences on Maya's parents, Jacob and Toni, as well as outward to consider Maya's brother, her landlady, her boss's son and others, repeatedly noting the molding effect of early life: Jacob's history is dominated by an absent father and hippie-ish ideals; Toni's by a rebellious first marriage to a menacing older man. Departing from conventional mystery-story expectations, the novel combines impressive insight and control with a structure that opts for psychology over suspense. The result may be more ruminative, even static, than gripping, but enjoyment of London's abilities sustains the reader's interest through to an ending that errs on the side of too many neat conclusions.Despite disappointments, polished and promising work from a writer to watch. (Kirkus Reviews)

  • Short-listed for Barbara Jefferis Award 2009
  • Shortlisted for Barbara Jefferis Award 2009.
  • Winner of NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2009
  • Winner of NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2009.
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