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Marie King is a 59-year-old divorcée from Sydney's affluent north shore. Having devoted her rather conventional life to looking after her husband and three children — who have now all departed the family home — she is experiencing something of an identity crisis, especially as she must now sell the family home and thus lose her beloved garden. On a folly she gets a tattoo.
Marie forges a friendship with her tattoo artist, Rhys, who introduces her to an alternative side of Sydney from that to which Marie is accustomed. Through their burgeoning connection, Marie's two worlds collide causing great friction within Marie's family and with her circle of rich friends.
With echoes of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap, Indelible Ink is a multi-layered examination of how we live now, in which one family becomes a microcosm for the changes operating in society at large.
About the Author
Fiona McGregor is the author of three works of fiction: Au Pair, shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel Award; Suck My Toes, winner of the Steele Rudd Award; and chemical palace, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for fiction. She was voted one of the inaugural Best Young Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald in 1997. Her most recent book is a travel memoir, Strange Museums. Fiona is also known as a performance artist. She has performed live across Australia and Europe, and her video works have been seen internationally.
Indelible Ink comes with a huge push from Christos Tsoilkas and I can see why. In fact, what Tsoilkas did for inner city Melbourne in his hugely influential The Slap, McGregor does for Sydney's affluent upper north shore.
This is a very contemporary novel of Sydney life. It counterpoints the recently divorced and rather well to do Marie King with the demi-monde she encounters through her new found friend, tattoo artist Rhys.
The novel is a meeting of opposite worlds covering a range of themes from conservatism, transgression, subversion, real estate, family, death, spirit of place and attitudes to the body.
If you like Anne Tyler, Sarah Waters, Alice Munro, Jonathan Franzen and Alan Hollinghurst, you will like Fiona McGregor.
'For a long time now, when people ask me a favourite Australian author, invariably I think and say Fiona McGregor. There is a gutsiness, a splendour and command of language and expression in her writing that thrills me every time I read her. Indelible Ink is a stunning book, a novel that addresses our world and our time with an acute and ferocious acumen. There is also tenderness here and there is wisdom. Marie King, the grandmother who begins to understand living and courage with her first tattoo, is destined to become one of the great characters of Australian literature. This is a superb book by — undeniably now — one of our finest writers. Thanks for publishing this book. It's f**king gold.'
'Indelible Ink portrays the creative fluidity in living, even when life itself is ebbing away ... It is an exceptional novel: complex, confronting, richly imagined and beautifully wrought.'
"A stunning book, a novel that addresses our world and our time with an acute and ferocious acumen. There is also tenderness here and there is wisdom." --Christos Tsiolkas, Commonwealth Writers' prize-winner, "The Slap"
Published: 31st May 2010
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.2 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.476