Reunion

REUNION My 6th novel, a narrative of friendship, obsessive love, intellectual strivings and untimely death, was published by 4th Estate in 2009. 	It tells the story of four friends who meet at Melbourne University in the late 1970s. They go on to Oxford for post-graduate studies, after which they go separate ways forging their careers. Twenty years later the friends are reunited in Melbourne, brought together as inaugural fellows of NOGA – the Network of Global Australians. Ava, long married to Harry, is a successful novelist who carries a lifetime of secrets. At the time of her return to Melbourne she is struggling with her 7th novel. Conrad – Connie – now a celebrity philosopher living in the US, is questioning the seriousness of his work. A serial philanderer, he has also started to question his lifestyle. Helen is a molecular biologist, whose research combatting diarrhoea in some of the world’s poorest locations can also be applied to bioterrorism. And lastly there is Jack, the brightest of them all, whose work in comparative religion has stalled owing to his long and futile obsession with Ava. They arrive back in Melbourne each with their own problems and concerns. The friendships which they have long taken for granted are put under serious strain. When Ava finds herself caught in the worst of dilemmas it is not her old friends that come to her aid, but rather a secret lover from the past.  Writers have favourites among their works (although their next is always their best). Amongst her cache, Dot always had a special spot for AKHENATEN and WILD SURMISE (so do I). As for my own specials: FACING THE MUSIC, THE PROSPEROUS THIEF and, yes, REUNION. It’s fair but unsentimental towards the characters – Ava, Jack, Connie and Helen – portraying them with all their attractions and all their flaws. And it reveals friendship as sturdier and more forgiving than marriage, despite serious short-comings. I’m rather drawn to that idea.  The novel was well-received and there’s plenty to be found online.   Slow TV recorded an on-stage interview conducted by Drusilla Modjeska at the 2009 Sydney Writers’ Festival. http://www.themonthly.com.au/reunion-andrea-goldsmith-conversation-drusilla-modjeska-1689  Other links:  http://www.themonthly.com.au/noted-jo-case-reunion-andrea-goldsmith--1669  http://www.readings.com.au/interview/andrea-goldsmith  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/andrea-goldsmith-reunion/story-e6frg8no-1225704867129  http://anzlitlovers.com/2010/03/31/reunion-by-andrea-goldsmith-2/

REUNION.

My 6th novel, a narrative of friendship, obsessive love, intellectual strivings and untimely death, was published by 4th Estate in 2009.

It tells the story of four friends who meet at Melbourne University in the late 1970s. They go on to Oxford for post-graduate studies, after which they go separate ways forging their careers. Twenty years later the friends are reunited in Melbourne, brought together as inaugural fellows of NOGA – the Network of Global Australians.

Ava, long married to Harry, is a successful novelist who carries a lifetime of secrets. At the time of her return to Melbourne she is struggling with her 7th novel. Conrad – Connie – now a celebrity philosopher living in the US, is questioning the seriousness of his work. A serial philanderer, he has also started to question his lifestyle. Helen is a molecular biologist, whose research combatting diarrhoea in some of the world’s poorest locations can also be applied to bioterrorism. And lastly there is Jack, the brightest of them all, whose work in comparative religion has stalled owing to his long and futile obsession with Ava.

They arrive back in Melbourne each with their own problems and concerns. The friendships which they have long taken for granted are put under serious strain. When Ava finds herself caught in the worst of dilemmas it is not her old friends that come to her aid, but rather a secret lover from the past.

Writers have favourites among their works (although their next is always their best). My favourites are FACING THE MUSIC, THE PROSPEROUS THIEF and, yes, REUNION. REUNION is fair but unsentimental towards the characters – Ava, Jack, Connie and Helen – portraying them with all their attractions and all their flaws. And despite serious short-comings, it reveals friendship as sturdier and more forgiving than marriage. I’m rather drawn to that idea. And it plunges into fraught moral territory. There’s a mutually beneficial sexual relationship between a teenager and a much older man, and one of the characters struggles against current laws and restrictions when they believe their life is no longer worth living.

The novel was well-received and there’s plenty to be found online.

Slow TV recorded an on-stage interview conducted by Drusilla Modjeska at the 2009 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

http://www.themonthly.com.au/reunion-andrea-goldsmith-conversation-drusilla-modjeska-1689

Other links:

http://www.themonthly.com.au/noted-jo-case-reunion-andrea-goldsmith–1669

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpLIggfiaE

http://www.readings.com.au/interview/andrea-goldsmith

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/andrea-goldsmith-reunion/story-e6frg8no-1225704867129

http://anzlitlovers.com/2010/03/31/reunion-by-andrea-goldsmith-2/

3 thoughts on “Reunion

  1. Pingback: Book review: The Memory Trap, by Andrea Goldsmith | looking up/looking down

  2. natalie

    I have just read Reunion, having never heard of this writer before. There is plenty of philosophy and science basic references to show that the writer is indeed well read, but why the use of ‘cell-phones’? Why the desperation to distinguish this is a writer from ‘inner melbourne’? Was hoping this new decade would leave all the pretensions of the hipster generation behind, but this is pointless wallowing in the ‘in crowd’. I am 46 if that makes any difference. From outer melbourne, because living in inner melbourne 20 years ago put me off the experience. For life.

    Reply
  3. Andrea Goldsmith Post author

    Hi Natalie. ‘Reunion’ is a character-based novel. The story emerges from who the characters are, rather than who the author is. Connie would welcome being described as cool (hipster), but the others certainly wouldn’t. Helen, the scientist, is quite daggy, and happy to be so.

    When cell-phone rather than mobile is used it is because it comes from the point of view of a character who has spent much of his/her life in the US. Ava, for example, a long-time resident of the UK, would never use the term cell-phone. Re the location of the author, it is literary convention (certainly not desperation) that dictates how this is usually written.

    I write about characters and situations that interest me. Novels take 3-4 years to write – a lovely length of time to look into what I don’t know. I’m currently working on a novel about exile, the central character of which was born in the Soviet Union in 1962. My 5th novel opened in Berlin before the Great War.

    One of the great attractions of fiction is its variety. Of course I would have preferred that you liked ‘Reunion’, but what matters far more is that fiction matters to YOU, that it connects with what you value. And it clearly does.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s