Robert Dessaix's Memoir

Robert Dessaix's Memoir

What Days Are For

by Robert Dessaix

Knopf, $29.99 hb, 231 pp, 9780857985767

Robert Dessaix’s authorial voice reminds me of Christina Stead’s description of a small, clear wave running up a beach at low tide, playfully ‘ringing its air-bells’. He is not a writer of direct, declarative prose. Instead, Dessaix specialises in sentences that skip over and around their subjects, sometimes darting nimbly into brackets to investigate a second (or a third) thought, or diverging into a set of questions. Caressing and impeccable, his is a very particular voice, moving lightly across the page, though it could not be called superficial. If it sometimes takes a little too much pleasure in its own charms, it is, at the same time, sceptical and self-aware.

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Published in December 2014, no. 367
Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels: The Service of Clouds (1997) and The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers (2005). She is also the author of Sydney (2011), and editor of The Penguin Book of the Road (2008) and Best Australian Stories (2008 and 2009). She lives in Sydney.

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