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Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and my family

by Gabrielle Carey

As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile.

Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s west Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her extended family, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich in a quest to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it.

Moving Among Strangers is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers.



About Gabrielle Carey

Gabrielle Carey is the author of novels, biography, autobiography,essays, articles and short stories, including Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity, about the tumultuous time surrounding the writing and publishing of Puberty Blues. Gabrielle teaches writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, where her long-standing preoccupation with James Joyce is happily tolerated. Her most recent publication was a contribution to Collaborative Dubliners: Joyce in Dialogue. Gabrielle is currently researching the life and work of Australian novelist and poet Randolph Stow.

Other books by Gabrielle Carey



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