Mandy Sayer has been winning awards since the start of her career more than twenty years ago. Her first novel, Mood Indigo (1990), a pacy, absorbing account of a remarkable and rackety childhood, bagged the Vogel in 1989. Its autobiographical origins become clear when read in conjunction with her memoir Velocity (2005), which covers Sayer’s early life in more harrowing detail. Velocity also won a couple of major prizes. So I was expecting Love in the Years of Lunacy to be a mature, original novel; perhaps, given the title, with a nod in the direction of the great metafictionists. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in October 2009, Sayer named Gabriel García Márquez as her favourite author: ‘He’s had a profound influence on contemporary literature and has had many imitators but I don’t think anyone has been able to match him as a storyteller.’
Gillian Dooley reviews 'Love in the Years of Lunacy' by Mandy Sayer
Love in the Years of Lunacy
by Mandy Sayer
Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781742373379
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Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Music Department at Southampton University. Her publications include an edited book of interviews with Iris Murdoch (2003), V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer (2006), J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative (2010), and journal articles on a range of literary topics including music in the life and work of Jane Austen. In 2005 she co-edited Matthew Flinders’ Private Journal and in 2014 she published an edition of the correspondence between Iris Murdoch and the Australian radical philosopher Brian Medlin. She has been a regular reviewer for ABR since 2002. She is founding editor of the online journals Transnational Literature and Writers in Conversation.
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