Brian Matthews reviews 'Half the Perfect World: Writers, dreamers and drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964' by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell

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

Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews is the author of short stories, essays, and biographies. He was a weekly columnist for the Weekend Australian

...

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.’

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are already a subscriber, click here, or on the ‘Log In’ tab in the top right hand corner of the screen, and enter your username and password to log in. If you have logged in but are still seeing this message your subscription to ABR Online may have expired. Please contact us or click here to renew your subscription to ABR Online. More information about ABR Online can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in November 2018, no. 406

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.