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To the Islands

To the Islands: Text Classics

Text Classics

Randolph Stow

  • awardWinner, Miles Franklin Literary Award, 1958
  • awardWinner, Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, 1958
  • Introduction by Bernadette Brennan

    Behind the uneasy trees rose the hills, and beyond them again the country of the lost, huge wilderness between this last haunt of civilization and the unpeopled sea.

    Exhausted and losing faith, an Anglican minister flees his mission in Australia’s northwest for the vast emptiness of the outback. In the soul country of the desert the old man searches for the islands of the Aboriginal dead, reflecting on past transgressions and on his life’s work. A Lear-like tale of madness and destruction, published when Randolph Stow was only twenty-two, To the Islands is compelling and wise—a poetic masterpiece.

    ‘Thirty years after my initial encounter with To the Islands, I remain captive to its power.’ Read Bernadette Brennan’s introduction

    ‘Randolph Stow’s To the Islands (1958) is an astonishing novel, a work of poetic skill and political subtlety.’ Read more at the Conversation.


    Randolph Stow
    About the Author

    Julian Randolph ‘Mick’ Stow was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, in 1935. He attended local schools before boarding at Guildford Grammar in Perth, where the renowned author Kenneth Mackenzie had been a student.

    While at university he sent his poems to a British publisher. The resulting collection, Act One, won the Australian Literature...

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    Text publication date:
    26 August 2015
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    Praise for Randolph Stow
    andTo the Islands

    To the Islands is a deeply moving and compassionate novel whose message and wisdom is still important today, which is why it deserves to be recognised as an important work of Australian literature.’

    To the Islands is a masterpiece.’

    ‘Powerful and convincing…An Australian classic.’

    ‘It is a rare pleasure for those of us who are already fans to have these works at our disposal…[Stow was] the most talented and celebrated Australian author of the post-White generation.’

    ‘It should be taken as no commentary on contemporary Oz Lit that I choose Text’s fistful of Randolph Stow reissues for my local favourite(s) during 2015. Their appearance reminds us that a gentle, wise, wounded, and immensely talented poet in prose once lived among us.‘

    Other editions ofTo the Islands
    • To the Islands
      ISBN: 9781922253101
      26 August 2015
      Buy ebook