‘House in Gastouri for rent for 2 mths. Occupant travelling. Reasonable rent.’
In a village on the island of Corfu, alone in the cottage of a man he’s never met, a young Australian actor pieces together the strange life story of the Australian writer whose house he’s living in. As he explores his surroundings and makes new friends, his own life begins to appear to him like an illuminating shadowplay of his absent host’s.
Set in the physical landscapes of the Greek islands, Adelaide and the suburbs of London, Robert Dessaix’s second novel is about the nature of friendship, love, the ordinary and extraordinary. At its core is a perfectly placed meditation on literary landscapes – Homer, Sappho, Cavafy and Chekhov – and the part art can play in making our lives beautiful.
About the Author
Robert Dessaix is a writer of fiction, autobiography and the occasional essay. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.
His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace; the novels Night Letters and Corfu; a collection of essays and short stories (and so forth); and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love and Arabesques. In 2012 he published the collection of originally spoken pieces As I Was Saying, and in 2014 the meditation What Days Are For. A full-time writer since 1995, Robert Dessaix lives in Hobart, Tasmania.