From the award-winning author of Mad Meg (winner of the 1995 Australian National Book Council's Banjo Award) comes Window Gods, a brilliant, incisive work of art that tackles the big issues on a broad canvas: juggling the responsibilities of family whilst carving out some space for the self; the responsibilities of womanhood; negotiating the role of the mother - bringing together the pieces of a fractured life into a productive whole.
56-year-old Isobel is an artist struggling to engage deeply with her subject matter while the responsibilities of womanhood tug her in all directions - her ancient mother, her son and her late sister's daughter. When a lawsuit brought by her half sister and her husband's cancer diagnosis collide, Isobel is thrown from one crisis to the next. Then her son disappears in Afghanistan. In a situation resembling a global Middlemarch, Isobel sets off to find her son. The journey takes her away from her ailing mother to Afghanistan, where on her journey she finds courage in friendship and new horizons.
Strengthened and empowered, Isobel comes home to the bushfire season and her mother's last, hilarious days as she prepares to meet her God. Window Gods is about family, inheritance and change. Making sense of where you are and making sense of life in the absence of a single authority, or any of the old gods. Full of astute observations about life, death and everything in between it's a wry, funny and intelligent look at modern life - in all its glory.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
This novel is hard to describe because it’s big, ambitious and messy. It brims with ideas and themes like an overflowing bath - it simply cannot contain itself. If I were to describe it as a rose, or as a female form, I would call it blousy for its expansive quality. It’s about art and family in Melbourne and conflict in Afghanistan. Everything about its storytelling style is mashed up together. The canvas and brushstrokes are broad, and the narrative gets side-tracked by various tantalising asides…
But put simply: Isobel is torn in many directions by a big, rich, chaotic life: her half-sister in suing her, her peers are criticising her, her brother in law has cancer and then suddenly, her son, a photographer, disappears in one of the world’s most dangerous places.
About the Author
Born in Sydney and now living in Melbourne, Sally Morrison originally trained as a molecular biologist before beginning her writing career in the 1970s. Her work includes the play Hag, short story collection I Am Boat, and novels Who's Taking You to the Dance, Against Gravity, The Insatiable Desire of Injured Love and the award-winning Mad Meg, which is set in the same world as Window Gods. Her last book was a biography of Clifton Pugh, After Fire.