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In The Winter Dark : Popular Penguins : Popular Penguins - Tim Winton

In The Winter Dark : Popular Penguins

Popular Penguins


Published: 28th June 2010
In Stock. Ships in 1-2 business days from Australia
RRP $12.99

Night falls, in a lonely valley called the Sink, four people prepare for a quiet evening. Then in his orchard, Murray Jacob sees a moving shadow. Across the swamp, his neighbour Ronnie watches her lover leave and feels her baby roll inside her. And on the verandah of the Stubbs's house, a small dog is torn screaming from its leash by something unseen. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Author Biography

Tim Winton has published twenty books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian/Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.



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In The Winter Dark : Popular Penguins

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A Good Read


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  • Engaging Characters
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Comments about In The Winter Dark : Popular Penguins:

Winton paints pictures in one's head. He leaves me thinking of his stories long after I've read them.

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It's dark already and I'm out here again, talking, telling the story to the quiet night. Maurice Stubbs listening to his own voice, like every other night this past year, with the verandah sinking and the house alive with solitary noises the way it always is when the sun's set on another day and no one's come to ask the questions they're gonna ask sooner or later. I just sit here and tell the story as though I can't help it. There's always something in the day that reminds me, that sets me off all hot and guilty and scared and rambling and wistful, like I am now. This morning I found Jaccob down at his boundary fence drunk as a mongrel again, and I carried him up the hill to his place and lit him a fire, fixed some food, cleared away the bottles and that shoe he leaves around, and I left him there in that big old house before it drew breath and screamed my name. An old man like me can lift him now, for God's sake. He's always drunk or silent and skyward as a monk. There's only me and him left, but he doesn't speak.

So I'm the teller. But why don't I keep my mouth shut? Why? Because someone has to hear sooner or later. Because the bloody dreams don't go away. Because today I saw a real estate agent sniffing around across the valley at the girl's place. Because I'm alone, I'm alone here on the farm, the carrier of everyone's memories. So when the dusk comes, in that gloaming time of confusion when you can't tell a tree-stump from a kangaroo, an owl-hoot from a question in the night, the dark begins to open up like the ear of God and I babble it all out, try to get it straight in my mind, and listen now and then for a sigh, a whisper, some hint of absolution and comfort on the way.

This is what I remember, but it's not only my story. It happened to Ida, too, and Jaccob and the girl Ronnie. It's strange how other people's memories become your own. You recall things they've told you. You go over things until you think you can see the joins, the cells of it all. And there's dreams. I have these dreams. Dead people, broken people bleed things into you, like there's some pressure point because they can't get it out anymore, can't get it told. It's as though the things which need telling seep across to you in your sleep. Suddenly you have dreams about things that happened to them, not to you, as if it isn't rough enough holding down your own secrets. I don't know how it works – I'm no witchdoctor – but I know I remember things I can't possibly know. I'm not mad. Not yet.

They call this valley the Sink. Well, they did when I was a young man. From my verandah of an evening you can see mist on the dark sheen of the swamp and the river-bend below. Ducks spatter round the old white bridge. Frogs come on with the sound of marching. The jarrah forest takes the westering sun as a prick of blood on its brow. There's still only three houses. On the stony pasture across the valley there's the little house surrounded by fallen fences where no one's lived since Ronnie, the girl. Weird thing is, I got to like her in the end, but everyone likes the helpless and the vanquished. To the left, on the slope just up from here, Jaccob lives in the limestone place that's been there nearly as long as I remember. We used to call it the Minchinbury place. God, how I hate that house. Jaccob's chimney smoke rising like a spirit against the gloom. He'll be sober enough to start drinking again by now. Since the day we dug a grave and drove to the hospital, the day we sat together like friends and drank half a case of Japanese scotch and talked and talked it all out, we haven't said a word to one another. It's a year.
Tim Winton

The pre-eminent Australian novelist of his generation, Tim’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.

That Eye the Sky was adapted for the stage by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh, and also made into a film. A second film adaptation was made of In the Winter Dark, featuring Brenda Blethyn.

Tim’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.

Cloudstreet, was adapted for the stage by Nick Enright and Justin Monjo, and played to sell-out houses around Australia and in Zurich, London and Dublin in 1999. It toured internationally again in 2001, playing in London, New York and Washington. Film rights have been bought by Cloudstreet Inc. (USA).

Tim’s 1995 novel The Riders was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize and has been translated into numerous languages including French, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Greek and Hebrew.

His books for children and teenagers include the series of three books about the 13 year old Lockie Leonard. The first book in the series, Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo, won the Western Australia Premier's Award for Children's Fiction. It was adapted for the stage by Paige Gibbs and toured nationally with great success. Lockie Leonard, Legend, the most recent in the series, won the Family Award for Children’s Literature. The books are being made into a television series by RB Films.

In 2001 Tim’s novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, and Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are signed to star in the film.

The Turning, published in 2004, was described as At once exquisite and unsettling, brimming with imagery so lush and observations so precise the book is almost incandescent (The Bulletin). The Turning was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the Queensland Fiction Book Award and the Colin Roderick Award.

His new novel, Breath, was published by Penguin Books Australia, Picador United Kingdom, Farrar Straus Giroux USA, Harper Collins Canada, de Gues in the Netherlands, Luchterland Germany and Editions Rivages Payot France in 2008.

Breath was awarded the 2009 Miles Franklin Prize for Literature.

Tim Winton is patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers sponsored by the City of Subiaco, Western Australia. Active in the environmental movement in Australia, he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to literature and the community. He is also the patron of the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Stop the Toad Foundation and is active in many of their campaigns. He has recently contributed to the whaling debate with an article published on The Last Whale website. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and three children.


Winner - 2003 Australian Society of Authors Medal

For Adults:
Winner - 2009 Miles Franklin Award
Winner - 2008 Age Book of the Year Fiction Award
Winner - 2008 Indie Award
Shortlisted - 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asia and the South Pacific Region
Shortlisted - 2009 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize
The Turning
Shortlisted - 2005 Inaugural Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
Commended - 2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book
Winner - 2005 Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Best Fiction Book
Winner - 2005 New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Christina Stead Prize
Joint Winner - 2004 Colin Roderick Award
Dirt Music
Shortlisted - 2002 Man Booker Prize
Shortlisted - 2002 Kiriyama Prize
Winner - 2002 Miles Franklin Award
Winner - 2002 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize
Winner - 2001 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Book of the Year
Winner - 2001 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
Winner - 2001 Good Reading Award - Readers Choice Book of the Year
Winner - 2001 Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award
The Riders
Shortlisted - 1995 Booker Prize
Winner - 1995 Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region
Winner - 1992 Deo Gloria Award
Winner - 1991 NBC Banjo Award for Literature
Winner -1991 Miles Franklin Award
Joint Winner - 1991 Western Australia Premier's Book Award - Fiction
Minimum of Two and Other Stories
Winner - 1988 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
Scission and Other Stories
Joint Winner - 1985 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
Winner - 1985 Western Australian Council Literary Award
Winner - 1984 Miles Franklin Literary Award
Joint Winner - 1985 Western Australian Premier's Book Award - Fiction
An Open Swimmer
Winner - 1981 Australian/Vogel National Literary Award

For Children and Young Adults:
Lockie Leonard, Legend
Winner - 1998 Family Award for Children's Literature
Winner - 1998 Bolinda Audio Book Awards
Winner - 1998 Wilderness Society Environment Award
Winner - 1999 WAYRBA Hoffman Award for Young Readers
Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster
Winner - 1993 Wilderness Society Environment Award
The Buglalugs Bum Thief
Winner - 1994 CROW Award (Children Reading Outstanding Writers): Focus list (Years 3-5)
Winner - 1998 YABBA Awards: Fiction for Younger Readers
Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo
Winner - 1993 American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults Award
Winner - 1996 YABBA Awards: Fiction for Older Readers
Joint winner - 1991 Western Australian Premier's Book Award: Children's Book
Winner - 1990 Western Australian Premier's Book Award: Children's Book

Visit Tim Winton's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9780143204718
ISBN-10: 0143204718
Series: Popular Penguins
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 28th June 2010
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 12.0  x 1.0
Weight (kg): 0.1
Edition Number: 1