Land's Edge

Tim Winton

22 May 2014
128 pages


On childhood holidays to the western coast, Tim Winton’s days followed a joyous rhythm. In the mornings, the sun and surf kept him outside, in the water. In the afternoons, as the horizon wobbled with mirages and the wind came in from the ocean, he was driven inside, to books. In the ‘simple, peculiar shack’ that his family borrowed each year there was a small library: a room with four walls of books, a world unto itself.

Land's Edge: A Coastal Memoir is a beautiful delicate memoir in which Winton writes about his obsession with what happens where the water meets the shore – about diving, dunes, beachcombing – and the sense of being on the precarious, wondrous edge of things that haunts his novels. It is a book about the ebb and flow that became a way of life, and that shaped one of our finest writers.

‘Both a serial romantic and a truly gifted novelist’ - Mariella Frostrup, Mail on Sunday.

Winton's exhilarated eulogy to a life lived from boyhood to manhood by and on the beach . . . Imagine the ideal short memoir of a perfect long day lived between land, sky and sea; this is as good as it gets.
Wonderfully stirring . . . The great pleasure of Land's Edge is not just the dissection of his own love of the sea but also the flint-sharp evocation: he can fill your nostrils with the salty breeze. . . His is a book to read and reread . . . its reflections are beautiful, urgent and filled with awe.
The beach, the "verandah" at the edge of the continent, is half-fantasy, half-horror story. Winton is brilliant at exploring this ambiguity . . . I gobbled up this short but shimmering book in one windswept afternoon.