Author(s): Castro, Brian
Brian Castro takes up the novella, the form favoured by David Malouf and Helen Garner, in his new work of fiction, based on the life of the early twentieth-century Sydney poet Christopher Brennan. Brennan wrote some of the most powerful and ambitious poems in Australian poetry; he was a formidable literary figure who corresponded with MallarmÃ© and wrote on French poetry. He died an impoverished alcoholic. CastroÂ’s portrait of Brennan, seen through the eyes of his would-be biographer Brendan Costa, explores the fear of failure which haunts those who live by the imagination Â– the fear of not achieving their own high ideals, and of disappointing their families and those who depend them. The story is told with the wit and energy that is the hallmark of CastroÂ’s writing.
Long-listed for Miles Franklin Literary Award 2013.