Beejay Silcox reviews 'Warlight' by Michael Ondaatje

Beejay Silcox reviews 'Warlight' by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight

by Michael Ondaatje

Jonathan Cape, $29.99 pb, 290 pp, 9781787330726

Beejay Silcox

Beejay Silcox

Beejay Silcox is an Australian writer and literary critic. She recently completed her MFA in the United States, and is working on her

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‘Only the best art can order the chaotic tumble of events. Only the best can re-align chaos to suggest both the chaos and order it will become.’

Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion (1987)

In a cheerless London basement, a young man sifts through the bureaucratic detritus of World War II: ‘to unearth whatever evidence might still remain of actions that history might consider untoward’. The project is called ‘The Silent Correction’ – a furtive dimming of the national memory. Warlight, Michael Ondaatje’s effulgent new novel, is a story of half-lights and half-truths – a novel of matchlight, gaslight, limelight and moonlight, sodium light and storm light, bonfires and bomb-fires. A novel in chiaroscuro.

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