Also By This Author
“A reader can feel [Elderkin’s] human characters being ripped from the earth, a reader can feel the children being ripped form their parent, and a reader with a good ear can hear the screams of spirits as they are taken from all living things and banished into the dusty future.” Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times
978-0-8021-4170-5 • $13.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2004
A novel of seductive beauty set in the Australian bush, by a writer Granta recently selected as one of the "Best Young Writers Under 40"
A story of incantatory beauty set in the wilds of Australia, Time Out New York called The Voices “vividly imagined,” The Independent (UK) hailed it as “a tour de force,” and Susan Elderkin’s second novel has earned her the distinction from Granta as one of the “Best Young British Writers Under 40.”
In the remote, bloodred dust of the Australian bush, thirteen-year-old Billy Saint turns to the stark landscape and mesmerizing spirits of the native Aborigines for the companionship he lacks at home. He hears the Voices of the country itself, and is befriended by an enigmatic Aboriginal girl, Maisie, who has “sung him up”. As Maisie leads him farther into the untamed land and a culture that is not rightfully his, Billy realizes he is meddling with something deeply terrifying, and powerful beyond his control.
Ten years later Billy lies in a hospital bed, recovering from gruesome wounds of mysterious origin. In Cecily, an Aboriginal nurse, Billy discovers an unlikely ally as he struggles to piece himself back together. Shifting between his hospital stay and the childhood that led him there, The Voices unfolds into a mesmerizing exploration of the relationship between a white man, the land he loves, and the native spirits of the country, struggling to be heard before they are lost forever.