Overview In the remote outback of North-west Australia, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife Stella raise a curious child, Perdita, who appears content with her unusual family life in this remote corner of the globe until a tragic event changes her life forever.
Publishers Description A hauntingly beautiful quest for love and forgiveness.
In the remote Australian outback during World War II the emotionally adrift child of an English couple is befriended by equally anomalous strangers. Perdita becomes friends with a deaf and mute boy, Billy, and an Aboriginal girl, Mary. Perdita and Mary soon come to call one another sister and to share a profound bond. They are content with life in this harsh corner of the world, until a terrible event lays waste to their lives. Through this exquisite story of PerditaA's troubled childhood, Sorry explores the values of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice with a brilliance that has earned Gail Jones numerous accolades.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 8" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Jun 3, 2008
Publisher Europa Editions
ISBN 1933372559 ISBN13 9781933372556
Availability 0 units.
More About Gail Jones
Gail Jones is Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia.
Gail Jones was born in 1955 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Western Australia.
I have just finished "Sorry" and am now eager to read more books by Gail Jones. The novel is more than just a story--though it is a compellingly good read. It is also more than a slice of Australian history--though I learned much I did not know. In addition, it is more than a coming of age story--there seems to be a new genre emerging about girls whose growing up happens in conjunction with their increasing awareness of the oppression of others, e.g.Skinner's Drift, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight.
"Sorry" is a stylistically adept amalgam of character, place, and plot. Most wonderful, however, is Jones' unique use of voice to blend both the immediate and reflective versions of a first person story. As a result, the reader grows in understanding along with thoroughly appealing main character till eventually "Sorry" seems the only possible title for this remarkable novel
Strength, communication and human spirit Jun 26, 2008
'Sorry' is set in remote Western Australia, with World War II casting its shadow over the landscape. Perdita, the unwanted daughter of Nicholas and Stella, is the central character and the story is told from her perspective. Nicholas is an anthropologist who appears to have little respect for the Aborigines he is studying. Stella is obsessed with Shakespeare and not a particularly effective mother or companion. Perdita's companions are also outcasts: Billy, who is deaf, and Mary, an Aboriginal girl.
The circumstances surrounding the murder of Nicholas cause Mary to be removed from the household. Perdita withdraws and becomes effectively mute. She has access to a rich inner world through her eclectic accretion of Shakespeare and Aboriginal learning.
`Sorry' is about cultural displacement, communication, and alternate forms of reality. The stories of Billy, Perdita and Mary convey some uncomfortable truths as well as reinforcing that values are relative rather than absolute.
I read this novel about 12 months ago and, while the Australian political landscape has changed a little since then, many will view the use of the word `Sorry' as being a political statement. It is more than that, though, and you need to read the story to appreciate why. `Sorry' isn't only about the cultural divide and relative disadvantage between races of people: it is about strength, communication and human spirit. This novel has a number of different themes and readers can choose, to some extent, which themes resonate with them. Most stories have at least one hero: in this story your choice may well depend on which of the various stories have resonated with you the most.
"Tyranny, and release from tyranny, occur everywhere, and in every scale." Jun 1, 2008
(4.5 stars) Australian author Gail Jones, who has won popular recognition and prizes in Australia for every book she has written, has achieved another notable milestone with Sorry, nominated for the Miles Franklin Award for Best Novel of 2008. Set in sparsely populated Western Australia in the early 1940s, the novel recreates the life of Perdita Keene, a ten-year-old child, not wanted by her British parents, who had hoped she would die at birth. Perdita's childhood is formed by the aborigine women who nurse her in infancy, and she develops a strong friendship with Mary, an aborigine girl, and Billy, a deaf-mute white. All three children are outcasts, and their bonds with each other are total and life-affirming.
The murder of Perdita's father, described in the opening pages, is at the core of the novel, and the circumstances surrounding the case are not clear. All three children have witnessed the crime, but Perdita, the narrator of the novel, is so traumatized that she cannot remember any of the details except for a blood-spattered blue dress, made from a fabric used to make several dresses for several different wearers.
If there is such a genre as "Australian Gothic," this novel would be one of its best-written examples. The sights, sounds, and smells of the bush, filled with storms, heat, dust, and exotic birds and animals, vibrate with life--and death--both physical and spiritual. Perdita's father has long lost his interest in researching aborigine myths and leads a mean-spirited, abusive life. Her mother seeks life lessons and values in the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare and is hospitalized periodically because she loses touch with reality.
Perdita, "the lost one," named for a character in Shakespeare's The Tempest, loves the aborigines, who value the continuum of life, not merely a set of static principles, like the whites who have driven them from their ancestral lands and forcibly removed their children. On some level, Perdita is aware of the injustices, and she finds solace and a sense of order in aborigine, not white, culture.
Jones uses the battles of on-going World War II to parallel Perdita's troubles and illuminate the contrasts within Perdita's life, emphasizing the novel's major themes of war and peace, oppression and liberation, and order and chaos, both in society and within the individual. Entitled "Sorry" to honor the abused aborigine population, Jones notes that as recently as 1997, Prime Minister John Howard refused to acknowledge that the nation was "sorry" for its crimes, despite popular sentiment. Jones's novel is not a political screed, however. It is a story about a child who finds herself caught between two worlds--and learns the worst and the best about both. Lyrical, sensual, and full of passion, Sorry makes no apologies for its emotion or its dramatic intensity. For the author, these qualities are all part of saying "Sorry." n Mary Whipple
Sixty Lights Dreams of Speaking Biography - Jones, Gail (1955-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online