Item description for The Australia Stories by Todd James Pierce...
Haunted by the deaths of his mother and grandmother, both of whom perished while hiking through Australia's Blue Mountains, Sam Browne returns to the country of his mother's birth in search of his family's history and a way to make a place for himself within it.
By reading his grandmother's memoirs, Sam begins to connect to his family's ancestral home and understand the reasons that she and her daughter after her were so drawn to the Australian landscape and the mystery found there.
Drawing upon Australian culture and Aborigine mythology, The Australia Stories captures the strong hold that a place can have upon a person and the way a family's legacy can live on in the present.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.24" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.95" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2003
ISBN 1931561281 ISBN13 9781931561280
Availability 0 units.
More About Todd James Pierce
<div><b>Todd James Pierce</b> is assistant professor of English at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. He is the author of the novel <i>The Australia Stories</i>, and coauthor of the textbook <i>Behind the Short Story: From First to Final Draft.</i></div>
Reviews - What do customers think about The Australia Stories?
Timeless and Influential Jul 16, 2005
I read this wonderful book when it was first released, but something--summmer weather, I thought--made me pick it up again. Quickly I realized the book had been with me the whole time, and within a few pages, Pierce's voice had lulled me again into a state of high suggestibility where landscape, history and dream comingle. At first the novel seems fragmented, but soon you realize that Pierce's characters, especially Sam Browne, move according to their own timelines. Trauma, uncertainty and loss guide this book on a scavenger hunt of meaning that lead to the Blue Mountains of Australia, a setting that, like an astrological chart, casts its fortune on three generations of soon-to-be wanderers. Todd Pierce's The Australia Stories is just as timeless and influential.
fabulous read May 23, 2004
I picked this up because a friend told me about it. Took me about two evenings to read. Fabulous story. Stunningly written. Seriously, each paragraph was dazzling. I'm only saddened because (at least on this site) this is the author's only work. Hopefully, there'll be more.
(3.5)Family memories of a mysterious continent� Aug 30, 2003
The mythology of Australia is central to this novel. Both Sam Browne's grandmother and mother have vanished into the wilds of the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, his grandmother to myth and his mother in search of her own mother's memory. These disappearances (his mother's body is found, his grandmother's never found) have a profound influence on Sam as he remembers the year he spent with his mother in Australia before she was lost forever.
Pierce combines the unfathomable territory of memory with myth-saturated Australia, where the Aboriginal population has produced such ethereal tales from spectacular geography. Pierce also adds a strong feminist content to Sam's identification with his maternal relatives. His mother has had a positive effect on the young boy and the grandmother's journals offer him even more understanding of their unique bond with the land.
After returning to the United States, Sam finishes school, marries and divorces. Yet he remains fascinated by the stories of his mother and grandmother. Sam is able to recover most of his grandmother's original documents and spends his time pouring over their contents. His grandmother's voice speaks to him over the years, seducing him back into the land of myth that plays such an important role in his life. He cannot help but heed the siren call of his mother's native country.
In The Australia Stories, Todd James Pierce perfectly captures female sensitivities and the power of familial ties, reading Sam's mother's emotions with acuity in that short year spent with her in Katoomba, before returning to California. While the maturing Sam Browne feels Australia in the marrow of his bones, the lives of his mother and grandmother are ever more an intrinsic element of his spirit. He begins an intimate journey toward understanding the true nature of intergenerational connections, evolving one into another, spiraling through time. At peace with the past, finally, Sam steps easily into his future, where limitations are allowed no purchase, offering only promise and possibility. Luan Gaines/2003.
In Search of Lost Time Aug 4, 2003
This five-star debut uber-novel, a sequence of short stories, takes the reader across oceans of time to Sydney and the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Pierce risks sentimentality on his poignant journey - and comes up with something like a prose poem I could not put away until I reached its last intense page. Other readers have praised the novel's plot and characters. I'd like to extol its powerful nostalgia, its longing for what Proust called les temps perdu. The Australia Stories creates an almost mythical aura about its setting and characters; it is exponentially more radiant than any travel guide. The wonder of the author of this book is that, rather than living like an aesthete in a cork-lined room, Pierce has performed an enormous service to all writers by maintaining a stellar Web site about literary agents. He is both at home in the fictive world he creates in The Australia Stories - and alive and well in his generosity and tirelessness as a member of the workaday literary community. Cozy up to Pierce's pocket-sized The Australia Stories and let it take you to a magical Down Under!
A beautiful and engaging book Jun 26, 2003
"The Australia Stories" is a beautifully written, captivating novel. Pierce's amazingly clean, crisp writing creates wonderful images that transport the reader to the time and place of each story. The stories would appeal to anyone, young, old, male or female. Each individual story is masterfully woven as a part of the larger story, and the end pulls them all together in an unexpected, but perfect, way. I could not put the book down and, when I finished, I wished there was more!