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

‘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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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 first collection of short stories. Her short story 'Slut Trouble' was commended in the 2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.