Birds of Passage by Brian Castro & Getting Away With It by Kevin Brophy

Reviewed by
May 1984, no. 60
Graham Burns reviews 'Birds of Passage' by Brian Castro and 'Getting Away With It' by Kevin Brophy

Birds of Passage

by Brian Castro

Allen & Unwin, $12.95 pb, 157pp, 0868611263

Book Cover 2 Small

Getting Away With It

by Kevin Brophy

Wildgrass Books, 161pp, 0908069030

Birds of Passage by Brian Castro & Getting Away With It by Kevin Brophy

Reviewed by
May 1984, no. 60

Brian Castro’s novel Birds of Passage is a dramatic exploration of the intriguing idea, found in Butler, Jung, and others, that an individual’s life may in some way be in touch with ancestral experience. It imagines the possibility of a previous life, its outlook on reality and rhythms of existence, flowing troublingly into the consciousness of the present. The book shared the valuable Australian Vogel Prize last year. It is of some interest, but is a distinctly uneven work. Romantic in concept in its adoption of the idea of racial memory and psychic disposition, it is sometimes sententious in tone in its reaching for poetic effect, and prone to mix its narrative modes disconcertingly. It is hard to see it as a major literary prize-winner, although some of the historical episodes in its dual narrative are nicely done and the basic idea in itself is an attractive one.

Graham Burns reviews 'Birds of Passage' by Brian Castro and 'Getting Away With It' by Kevin Brophy

Birds of Passage

by Brian Castro

Allen & Unwin, $12.95 pb, 157pp, 0868611263

Book Cover 2 Small

Getting Away With It

by Kevin Brophy

Wildgrass Books, 161pp, 0908069030

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