Back in 1964 before I left the University of Tasmania, Amanda Howard (now Lohrey) introduced me to a serious, nondescript first-year student who, she told me, would go far. Twenty years later Peter Conrad is a Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and author of a number of well-regarded books on literature, opera, and television, with a reputation established on both sides of the Atlantic.
Down Home is Conrad’s record of a visit back to Tasmania to explore his own identity through a better understanding of the place from where he came. It contains some of the best descriptive writing to have come out of Australia; the Oxford don writes like a poet when seeking to describe the island. Even the disinterested reader who has no first-hand knowledge of Tasmania could read this book for the sheer pleasure of the language.