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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ted van Lieshout
Age Range: 14+
This short but powerful novel examines a number of issues, which will resonate
with adolescent boys. Luke has lost his younger brother Marius to a wasting
sickness. Writing in the unused pages in his brother’s diary, Luke revisits his
relationship with him, considers his parents’ effect on the lives of the brothers,
and wonders if brotherhood can survive death. Through this soliloquy he examines his brother’s sexuality, overtly heterosexual, but covertly and passionately homosexual, and through it his own early feelings for older men. Empowered by the realisation that he must be true to his own feelings, Luke finally announces to his parents that he too is gay, and is reassured by their support and the reaffirmation of their love for him.
Shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, 2003, this is a sensitive but unflinching translation by Lance Salway of Ted Van Lieshout’s text which examines life, death and truth, and which also offers young adults strategies for coping with the death of a sibling.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)