Gillian Dooley reviews 'A Sand Archive' by Gregory Day

Gillian Dooley reviews 'A Sand Archive' by Gregory Day

A Sand Archive

by Gregory Day

Picador, $29.99 pb, 302 pp, 9781760552145

‘And so I patch it together … I take the liberty of seeking not only an explanation but a connection between what at first might appear to be disparate ingredients.’ The narrator of Gregory Day’s new novel, A Sand Archive, takes many liberties. Enigmatic in various ways, apparently solitary, nameless, and ungendered, this character is nevertheless full of fascinated admiration and affection for an older man who is virtually a stranger, and candid about the feelings and impulses that compel the creation of an intimate account of his life and career. The patchwork is composed of clues found in an obscure publication titled The Great Ocean Road: Dune stabilisation and other engineering difficulties by FB Herschell, along with an archive in ‘the small prime ministerial library at the university on the edge of the water’ in Geelong.

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Published in May 2018, no. 401
Gillian Dooley

Gillian Dooley

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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