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Salonika Burning

Salonika Burning

Gail Jones

  • awardWinner, ARA Historical Novel Prize, 2023
  • awardShortlisted, Fiction, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, 2023
  • awardShortlisted, Voss Literary Prize, 2023
  • awardShortlisted, Best Designed Literary Fiction/Poetry Cover, Australian Book Design Awards, 2023
  • awardLonglisted, ALS Gold Medal, 2023
  • awardLonglisted, Margaret and Colin Roderick Literary Award, 2023
  • MACEDONIA, 1917. The great city of Salonika is engulfed by fire as all of Europe is ravaged by war.

    Amid the destruction are those who have come to the frontlines to heal: surgeons, ambulance drivers, nurses, orderlies and other volunteers. Four of them—Stella, Olive, Grace and Stanley—are at the centre of Gail Jones’s extraordinary new novel, which takes its inspiration from the wartime experiences of Australians Miles Franklin and Olive King, and British painters Grace Pailthorpe and Stanley Spencer. In Jones’s imagination these four lives intertwine and change, each compelled by the desire to create something meaningful in the ruins of a broken world.

    Immersive and gripping, Salonika Burning illuminates not only the devastation of war but also the vast social upheaval of the times. It shows Gail Jones to be at the height of her powers.


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    Gail Jones
    About the Author

    Gail Jones is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. She is the author of two short-story collections and nine novels, and her work has been translated into several languages and has received numerous literary awards. Originally from Western Australia, she now lives in Sydney.

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    Text publication date:
    3 October 2023
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    Praise for Gail Jones
    andSalonika Burning

    ‘Gail Jones has to be one of Australia’s most consistently impressive writers. Her prose is evocative, her plots meaningful and her characters drawn with considerable care…[Salonika Burning] is just as reliably lush, moving and literary as everything else she’s written.’

    ‘Enthralling…[Jones] is one of Australia’s most distinguished and highly awarded writers…The writing is exquisitely balanced and tender, coloured by sadness, dread and a touch of tragic irony.’

    ‘Elegant and intensely ruminative…Jones’s language in Salonika Burning is at once muscular and delicate, her narrative precise yet impressionistic…Jones has written some fine novels…but none finer than Salonika Burning.’

    ‘Elegantly written and precisely structured.’

    ‘An intoxicating flight of fancy.’

    ‘Extraordinary writing…Striking images of both the beauty and horror of a burned city.’

    ‘For decades, Gail Jones has been writing with more intelligence, verve and sensuous delight in the world than most of her peers…[A] meditation—couched in prose at once lavish and rigorously controlled—on the ways in which conflict can unmake the world and leave us scattered and cruelly isolated from one another.’

    ‘This novel is nuanced and complex, beautifully written, and gently savage as it navigates grief, memory, a burning city and a collection of war workers whose jobs were care and solace rather than killing.’

    ‘Jones writes about gender and trauma with her trademark gentle touch…Profound.’

    ‘Fans of Jones’s gift with words will appreciate this moving, poetic and meditative tribute to war, suffering, fortitude and the human spirit. It is worth reading, not least to uncover enchanting examples of the inspired way Jones uses descriptive language, many of which will resonate long after the final page.’

    ‘In her exquisite ninth novel, Gail Jones demonstrates, once again, why she is widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest novelists working today.’

    Salonika Burning continues Jones’ narrative searching for what rises up from engulfing loss and also the troubling, necessary role of art as imaginative witness…Extraordinary.’

    ‘[Gail Jones] captures the reader instantly with her rhapsodical perspective of fire…[Salonika Burning] is lyrically intense, original and savagely evocative.’

    ‘Gail Jones once again showcases her talent for writing memorable characters and poignant storylines…Lyrical and reflective…The language is just exquisite throughout and Jones’s ability to reveal devastating truths and describe horrific scenes in beautiful language is both disarming and comforting. She is a talented author and her fans will not be disappointed.’

    ‘A superbly written tale about the fragility of existence and the realities of war…The circular, impressionistic structure of this book enhances the narrative and will hook keen readers…Truly unique.’

    ‘A visceral account that connects Greece and Australia through the atrocities of war…The author’s words dig deep, her intimate and direct descriptions take the reader on a journey…[Jones] brings together historical events with fiction, through captivating prose and a plot that evokes one image after the other.’

    ‘Gail Jones once again showcases her talent for writing memorable characters and poignant storylines…The mettle and fortitude of these characters burn brighter than any fire, bringing to light the selfless acts of those who toil behind the scenes, for they are the backbone of success and perseverance in the face of chaos.’

    Other editions ofSalonika Burning
    • Salonika Burning
      ISBN: 9781922791108
      1 November 2022
      Buy ebook
    • Salonika Burning
      ISBN: 9781922458834
      1 November 2022