Landscape of Farewell
Allen & Unwin, $35 hb, 221 pp
Alex Miller, twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award for Journey to the Stone Country (2003) and The Ancestor Game (1992), is one of our most profound and interesting writers. His latest novel, Landscape of Farewell, tells the story of Max Otto, an aged and disillusioned German professor of history, devastated by the death of his beloved wife. He knows now that he will never write the historical study of massacre that was to have been his crowning achievement. Instead, paralysed by a sense of guilt-by-association – he has good reason to think that his father took part in the atrocities of World War II – he has retreated to a remote and bloodless historical study, that of intellectual upheaval during the twelfth century.