Sunday, 6 June 2010

Book of the Week - Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap

The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas, is not a new book. However, it has just been published in the UK by Tuskar Rock Press. It originally appeared in Australia as a paperback in 2008 and has picked up a slew of prizes (including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for 2009) and uniformly positive reviews. As a book to read, it is definitely my book of the week – but what, if any, is the appear to a collector? Against, The Slap has been published as a paperback only (although not quite only – see below), which invariably results in a book being less desirable, and has been published in the UK significantly after its Australian debut. On the plus side, it will be eligible for this year’s Booker Prize and may do well. In addition, it is already into a reprint, indicating high demand and perhaps a first print run which is not too high, and signed copies are being offered by major dealers at a premium. So overall, definitely a book to read and worth picking up a signed copy at cost or a modest premium. And there is to be a very small leather bound limited edition, around 20 copies, from Tuskar Rock for those with deep pockets. .....

Christos Tsiolkas, the son of Greek migrants, lived in a working class, predominantly Greek, Melbourne inner city suburb and attended state schools including Blackburn High School. He completed an Arts degree at the University of Melbourne in 1987 and has worked as writer and artist. His interest in film is evidenced in his writing the first monograph in Currency Press's Australian Film Classics series on Schepisi's film, The Devil's Playground, and his writing and directing of short films. Tsiolkas' first novel, Loaded (1995), was filmed as Head On (1998) by director Ana Kokkinos, starring Alex Dimitriades. In 2006, his novel, Dead Europe, won The Age Book of the Year fiction award. The Slap is his fourth novel, and he has also written a number of play scripts.

“At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye on to that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse.”

1 comment:

Trapnel said...

Interesting interview with Tsiolkas in the Guardian -