The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

Reviewed by
September 2020, no. 424
Buy this book
Morag Fraser reviews 'The Labyrinth' by Amanda Lohrey

The Labyrinth

by Amanda Lohrey

Text Publishing, $29.99 pb, 246 pp

Buy this book

The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

Reviewed by
September 2020, no. 424

In a 1954 letter to his niece Pippa, artist-nomad Ian Fairweather lamented that he could not write with sufficient analytic detachment to look back at his life and ‘see a pattern in it’. (Ian Fairweather: A life in letters, Text Publishing, 2019). The irony – that one of Australian art’s most profound, intuitive pattern-makers should be ruefully unable to ‘see’ the formative structures and repetitions of his fraught life – would not be lost on Amanda Lohrey. Labyrinth, her haunting new novel, is a meditation on fundamental patterns in nature and in familial relations, and our experience of them in time. But this is a novel, not a treatise, its narrative so bracing – like salt spray stinging your face – that one is borne forward inexorably, as if caught in the coastal rip that is one of the novel’s darker motifs. It is a work to read slowly, and reread, so that its metaphorical patterns can come into focus, and the intricate knots of structure loosen and unwind.

Morag Fraser reviews 'The Labyrinth' by Amanda Lohrey

The Labyrinth

by Amanda Lohrey

Text Publishing, $29.99 pb, 246 pp

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