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Conditions of Faith

by Alex Miller

With university behind her, Emily Stanton finds herself on the threshold of life. Introduced to a Scottish engineer, the exoticism of his life in Paris beckons, and she leaves her family home in twenties Melbourne to become his wife. But far from providing answers, her conventional marriage awakens in her an ardent desire to find a reason for living beyond that of simply wife and mother, a desire that leads her to flirt with risk, passion and unorthodox friendships, and carries her to Tunisia on a journey of self-questioning and intellectual reawakening.

Through the lives of a rich cast of characters, Conditions of Faith compassionately and subtly explores the problem of a reason for living. This is the timeless theme of the heart of this beautiful and compelling novel.


‘Utterly absorbing and deeply rewarding both emotionally and intellectually.’  James Bradley

‘This is an amazing book. The reader can’t help but offer up a prayerful thank you… that human beings still have the audacity to write like this… No paraphrase can do justice to this novel. Conditions of Faith is a blessing.’  Carolyn See, Washington Post

‘I think we shall see few finer or richer novels this year… a singular achievement.’  Andrew Riemer, Australian Book Review

‘A truly significant addition to our literature.’ – The Australian

‘My private acid test of a literary work is whether, having read it, it lingers in my mind afterward. Conditions of Faith fulfils that criterion; I am still thinking about Emily.’   Colleen McCulloch


Book Club Notes
01 January, 2000

About Alex Miller

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fifth novel, Conditions of Faith, won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the 2001 New South Wales Premier's Awards. In 2011 he won this award a second time with his novel LovesongLovesong also won the People's Choice Award in the NSW Premier's Awards, the Age Book of the Year Award and the Age Fiction Prize for 2011. In 2007 Landscape of Farewell was published to wide critical acclaim and in 2008 won the Chinese Annual Foreign Novels 21st Century Award for Best Novel and the Manning Clark Medal for an outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life. It was also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the ALS Gold Medal and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Alex is published internationally and widely in translation and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


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