Questions of Travel, by Michelle de Kretser
Questions of Travel
Michelle de Kretser
Allen & Unwin
We’re so busy buzzing off here, there and everywhere nowadays that we rarely stop to examine the act of travelling itself. What is the relationship between travel and tourism? Does our constant criss-crossing of the internet count as travel? And where does immigration fit in?
These are the questions that the Sri Lankan-Australian author Michelle de Kretser asks in the novel that won her the 2013 ‘Aussie Booker’, the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She explores ideas and places – evoking the latter, in particular, with delicacy and skill – but does so through the stories of two engaging, and very different, central characters. Laura inherits enough money to spend years bumming around the UK and Italy before returning to Australia as an editor at a guidebook publisher. Ravi, a computer nerd whose Sri Lankan family is subjected to horrific violence, flees to Sydney in a state of trauma. As surprising as it is ambitious, Questions of Travel is a satisfying journey through the dislocations of contemporary life.