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Introduction by Peter Conrad
It could almost have been their own country: these sections with the gums briefly framed like a traditional oil painting by the slowly passing window. The colours were as brown and parched; that chaff-coloured grass, Ah, this dun-coloured realism. Any minute now the cry of the crow or a cockatoo; but no.
Thirteen men and women travel the world on a package tour but wherever they go nothing is as it seems.
Challenged by the unexpected, by differences and subtleties, Bail’s tourists are in turn repelled and attracted—and all are altered.
‘A visual writer with great understanding of sensual man.’
‘Homesickness is most remarkable for its exhilarating breadth, its effervescent inventiveness and its polymathic connoisseurship of culture, as well as for the harder-headed comedy that tethers its aeronautical fancies to the ground. In 1980 it was an astonishing debut—a comic epic about a bashful country that was then beginning to emerge from its seclusion at the bottom of the world and on the margins of the world’s literature.’