The Life to Come

this year’s Miles Franklin winner is a brilliant character study

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Michelle de Kretser’s The Life To Come, which has won the 2018 Miles Franklin Award, begins with an epigraph from Samuel Beckett’s Endgame:

CLOV: Do you believe in the life to come?
HAMM: Mine was always that.

This tragicomic exchange sets up, brilliantly, the novel that follows. When I asked de Kretser about her selection of this quote, she replied that she is interested in the hollowness behind the lives of her characters. Each falls short of the life they might have lived; each hears the echo of a life that could have been; and that echo hollows out the life they are in fact living.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2018


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