Delia Falconer: Sydney

‘Glitz and rot’

Rhyll McMaster


by Delia Falconer
New South, $29.95 hb, 301 pp, 9781921410925


Delia Falconer’s Sydney, the third in a series from New South in which leading Australian authors write about their hometowns, is like its harbour, brimful with tones, vivid with contemplation.

Sydney has had a strong tradition of writers enraptured by the city – in the twentieth century, for example, Patrick White, Christina Stead, Kenneth Slessor – yet their notations form the high notes. Beneath the brash metallic sounds of the growing metropolis and its burgeoning colonial life, Falconer suggests, lay another more sonorous tone, that of the Eora nation whose ‘pervasive disappearance has led to ubiquity, to a pregnant presence’: ‘There are times especially when the autumn mists blur the edges of the harbour, and the king tides rise, when one feels ghostly; when this place feels sentient, and thus more alive, than oneself.’

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Published in November 2010 no. 326
Rhyll McMaster

Rhyll McMaster

Rhyll McMaster's latest poetry collection, Late Night Shopping, was highly commended in the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Her prize-winning, internationally published and translated novel, Feather Man, was published in 2007.

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