Wistful Winton looks back at the Australia of his spiritual youth

Wistful Winton looks back at the Australia of his spiritual youth

Essays: The Boy Behind The Curtain, By Tim Winton, Picador, €23

The novelist Tim Winton grew up in the province of Western Australia, an arid expanse of outback which holds 32 per cent of Australia’s overall landmass but just 11 per cent of its population. No surprise that his books strongly radiate the ominous silences, suffocating emptiness and expansive space of his native country. So too does The Boy Behind The Curtain, a new collection of personal essays written over the past decade which technically doesn't constitute an autobiography, but isn't far off.

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