The Great World is a remarkable novel of self-knowledge and of fall from innocence, of survival and witness. Absorbed by the twentieth-century history of Australian life, the novel focuses on the unlikely friendship of two men who meet as POWs of the Japanese during W.W.II: Digger Keen, and Vic Curran. For both men, war was supposed to be a testing ground of masculine and nationalist virtue. Instead, it becomes an ordeal that lays bare the painful reality which lies behind a nation's myth of itself.
"The rare serious novel that doesn't condescend to its characters, this book has a limpidity and an elliptical sense of time that save it from becoming a blockbuster-style epic--despite having some of that form's easy pleasures--and render it poetic."--The New Yorker
WINNER 1991 - Commonwealth Writers' Prize of Europe and South Asia
David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry. His novel The Great World was awarded both the Commonwealth Prize and the Prix Femina Étranger, and Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives in Australia.