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Exhausted and losing faith, an Anglican minister flees his mission in Australia's northwest for the vast emptiness of the outback. In the desert he reflects on past transgressions and on his life's work.
To the Islands, a Lear-like tale of madness and destruction, was published when its author was only twenty-two. A poetic masterpiece, it was awarded the 1958 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal.
The work of Randolph Stow is as original in the Australian literary tradition as William Faulkner in the American tradition. He has been hailed as "the least visible figure of that great twentieth-century triumvirate of Australian novelists whose other members are Patrick White and Christina Stead."
Text is re-releasing five of Stow's major works under the Text Classics imprint, with introductions by key figures in Australian literature.
Randolph Stow was born in 1935. While at university he sent his poems to a British publisher, and the resulting collection won the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal in 1957. He worked briefly as an anthropologist's assistant in New Guinea, returning to Australia after he fell seriously ill. In the 1960s he lectured at universities in Australia and England, and lived in America on a Harkness fellowship. Stow died in 2010.