In August 1964, Charmian Clift returned to Australia from the Greek island of Hydra after nearly fourteen years abroad. As Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell portray her return – a description based, as always in this book, on solid or at least reasonably persuasive evidence – she ‘was leaving her beloved Hydra forever, with the pain of her departure sharpened by the sting of humiliation and exile’. By the time the return voyage had begun, she later recalled, ‘the audacious bite of decision has long since been blunted … The freshness of the adventure has worn off and uncertainty, alas, is practically all that remains.’
Brian Matthews reviews 'Half the Perfect World: Writers, dreamers and drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964' by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell
Half the Perfect World: Writers, dreamers and drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964
by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell
Monash University Publishing, $39.95 pb, 438 pp, 9781925523096
Brian Matthews is the author of short stories, essays, and biographies. He was a weekly columnist for the Weekend Australian...
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