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The Time We Have Taken

by Steven Carroll

‘That exotic tribe was us. And the time we have taken, our moment.’

One summer morning in 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, pronounces his Melbourne suburb one hundred years old. That same morning, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband’s snores, yet it is years since Vic moved north. Their son, Michael, has left for the city, and is entering the awkward terrain of first love. As the suburb prepares to celebrate progress, Michael’s friend Mulligan is commissioned to paint a mural of the area’s history. But what vision of the past will his painting reveal? Meanwhile, Rita’s sometime friend Mrs Webster confronts the mystery of her husband’s death. And Michael discovers that innocence can only be sustained for so long.

The Time We Have Taken is both a meditation on the rhythms of suburban life and a luminous exploration of public and private reckoning during a time of radical change.

Winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Novel for the South-East Asia and South Pacific Region and the 2008 Miles Franklin Literary Award.



About Steven Carroll

Steven Carroll was born in Melbourne and grew up in Glenroy. He went to La Trobe University and taught English in high schools before playing in bands in the 1970s. After leaving the music scene he began writing as a playwright and became the theatre critic for The Sunday Age. He has recently given up his lecturing post at RMIT to write full time and lives in Brunswick, Victoria. His novels The Art of the Engine Driver and The Gift of Speed were both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2008 The Time We Have Taken won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, South-East Asia and South Pacific region as well as the 2008 Miles Franklin Award, Australia's most prestigious literary prize.

Other books by Steven Carroll



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