Contemporary Quest An enlivening brace of books from Alan Gould

(a review 
of A Gould, The Lake Woman: A Romance and A Gould, Folk Tunes)

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

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Alan Gould’s imagination has been steeped in a wide range of reading, from Shakespeare, Milton, Kipling and Auden to less wellknown works such as the sophisticated verse of the Cavalier poets. His recent novel, The Lake Woman, also reveals the influence of the tough and tender lyricism of Thomas Wyatt. Gould’s literary voice is unusual among contemporary writers, partly as a result of his influences. Although he claimed his own territory as a fiction writer a long time ago (his first novel, The Man Who Stayed Below, appeared in 1984), and has always been interested in idiomatic Australian English and Australian culture, he also allied himself to the chief storytellers, such as Conrad, among the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English-language modernists. As a result, a few of his literary mannerisms – including his diction and some of his cadences – can seem old-fashioned. This should not matter; good writing will always outlast passing fashions, but it may be one reason why Gould’s fiction
has been less widely noticed than it might have been.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-10
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian Book Review
Issue number318
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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