AWARD-winning writer Christos Tsialkos, author of The Slap, has been spending quite a bit of time in Narooma where he has a house.
The town and its scenery have in fact been an inspiration for his new novel Barracuda, released to the reading public last week.
This according to local resident Margaret Byrne, who let us know about this particularly literary connection for Narooma, and here’s her report:
Many readers in Australia and around the world have been wondering what Christos Tsialkos has been up to since the publication of The Slap in 2008.
The Slap was a huge success, both as a novel and an ABC TV series.
With its central polarising incident, its warts-and-all characters, its uncompromising style, and multi-faceted viewpoints, it captured attention and divided readers.
Its success created certain expectations, both a blessing and a burden for its author.
The release of Barracuda last week partly answers the question of how Tsialkos has occupied himself since his last novel was published.
Local readers may be interested to learn that he also bought a house in Narooma during this period, and that for the past two years he has spent considerable time here working on the novel.
From his study with its water views, Tsialkos spent many weeks revising and polishing his work and preparing the final draft for publication.
With its beaches and bays, its peace and its beauty, Tsialkos found Narooma a perfect place to work on his novel about a competitive swimmer.
Barracuda promises to be as absorbing and topical as The Slap while striking out in a quite different direction.
For one thing, the new novel has a sports setting. It explores, among other things, the enormous pressures placed on athletes and sportsmen in Australia and depicts how this impacts on the central character, Danny Kelly, a talented swimmer obsessed with becoming an Olympic champion.
After completing promotional duties for his publishers, Tsialkos hopes to spend some time over the summer at his Narooma home, relaxing with friends and family, and of course, swimming.
Barracuda is published by Allen and Unwin, and is on sale in bookshops now, including at Moruya Books.
According to his publisher, Christos Tsiolkas is the author of four novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film, Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award.
He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for his previous novel The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year.
He is also a playwright, essayist and screenwriter. When not in Narooma, he lives in Melbourne.