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From the image of a small boy entranced by his mother's GI escort, yet still hoping for the return of his father 'missing in action', to the portrait of an adult writer trying to piece together a defining image of his late father, these outstanding stories conjure up with dazzling intensity the memories and events that make a man. Through the unreliable layers of family archaeology, they uncover earlier, vulnerable selves, moments of innocence or shame, and unfinished business, illuminated by shocking flashes of unpredictable violence and pain, or glints of sly humour. In the brilliant cornerstone story, the stuff of dreams is both real and imagined -rumoured fields of cannabis picked in secret by migrant workers, or a nightmare encounter on a dark Brisbane street. In 'Night Training' a military recruit is scarred by his own complicity in a bizarre nightly ritual; and in 'Sally's Story', a 'comfort' girl looks for comfort of her own. Here are men and women in search of connection, or equally wary of it - whether with each other or with past selves.
David Malouf is the internationally acclaimed author of novels including The Great World (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Prix Femina Etranger), Remembering Babylon (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life, Conversations at Curlow Creek, His most recent, Ransom, published in 2010, and his autobiographical classic 12 Edmondstone Street. His Collected Stories won the 2008 Australia-Asia Literary Award, and his recent story collections are Dream Stuff ('These stories are pearls' Spectator) and Every Move You Make ('Rare and luminous talent' Guardian). In 2008 Malouf was the Scottish Arts' Council Muriel Spark International Fellow. Born in 1934 in Brisbane, where he was brought up, he lives in Sydney.