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A brilliant satire on the role of the artists in our society and the manipulation of culture.
The first caravans arrive in a convoy. Wayne Macauley’s narrator, Wayne Macauley, is in one of them. He’s one of the artists removed from his home, given a new place to live and the chance to ‘give back to society’. In his strange new community, housed on a footy oval in a faraway country town, he is given his task. To create and be useful. To be thankful for the opportunity. He decides he will not give in to his misgivings; he will write. Then he finds out about the rejection slips already written for the work he has yet to submit…
‘A delicacy and wryness, a sort of tough reversal of expectations, that relaxes the mind and sends it skidding on the thinnest ice of elegance…If Macauley is black he’s satiny.‘
‘In an era when many Australian novelists are playing it safe…Wayne Macauley is an ambitious talent worth watching.’
‘Wayne Macauley’s first novel, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, showed that a real talent had arrived and his second confirms the promise.‘
‘Mixing elegy and whimsy, satire and black humour, language becomes pliant under Macauley’s command.’
‘A lament but also a call to arms, Caravan Story is a thrilling piece of satire, a compulsively readable, extremely well-wrought Orwellian fable that I believe announces the arrival of Macauley as a major Australian writer.’
‘In an age of corporate excess, of truth distorted by commercial demands, of the triumph of utilitarianism, Macauley’s warning, albeit in satirical form, sounds a clarion call. Art needs no reason to exist save its own purpose to entertain, enlighten, provoke and surprise. And what a delightfully entertaining way for us to realise that!’