The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Book in the series

3.75 based on 2143 ratings & 172 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 12.03.1999
ISBN: 9780330352925
Number of pages: 416

Synopsis

‘Flanagan’s enthralling and powerful novel centres on a Slovenian couple, Bojan and Maria Buloh, and their daughter Sonja. The story begins in 1954, when Sonja is three, and ends in 1990, when she is in her late thirties . . . The novel begins with Maria Buloh . . . leaving the wooden hut in the Tasmanian highlands which is now her home. A blizzard is blowing, and behind Maria three-year-old Sonja cries for her to come back – but she does not . . . To understand why Maria leaves her child is to understand a little the impact of Nazi occupation on those who were scarred for the rest of their lives by what they had seen . . . The novel lives by its moments of defining truth’ Helen Dunmore, The Times

‘Like Carol Shield’s The Stone Diaries, The Sound of One Hand Clapping achieves the difficult task of making clear and real the lives of those who normally stay hidden in history. From its wonderfully atmospheric opening to its touching conclusion, this is a heartbreaking story, beautifully told’ Literary Review

‘Richly imagined . . . told in a voice rarely heard in Australia: almost violently masculine, shot through with heartbreaking delicacy of feeling’ Robert Dessaix

‘Flanagan imbues this most Australian of stories with a middle European sensibility found in the reserve of characters in Milan Kundera’s writings . . . [he] tells an immortal story of faith and hope, its loss and rebirth . . . The Sound of One Hand Clapping is destined to be a classic’ Sydney Herald Sun