It is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life’s crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.
When, at Vita’s invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country’s past.
Following Alex Miller’s Miles Franklin-winning Journey to the Stone Country, Landscape of Farewell is a wise and grave novel of power, beauty and truth.
“The latest novel by the Australian master, so admired by other writers, and a work of subtle genius.” Sebastian Barry
“Landscape of Farewell is a triumph.” Hilary McPhee
“Alex Miller is a wonderful writer, one that Australia has been keeping secret from the rest of us for too long.” John Banville
“What a glorious fictional achievement this is…” Ronald Sharp, Australian Literary Review
“Landscape of Farewell has a rare level of wisdom and profundity. Few writers since Joseph Conrad have had so fine an appreciation of the equivocations of the individual conscience and their relationship to the long processes of history… [It is] a very human story, passionately told.” Australian Book Review
“By the end of the novel, we are glad to have known its numerous characters, all of them suffering from notions of failure and loss which, each in their own way, they partially overcome.” Tom Aitken, Times Literary Supplement