Christos Tsiolkas’ stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope, taking as its subject nothing less than events surrounding the birth and establishment of the Christian church. Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations on from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus nevertheless explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided – it’s all here, the contemporary and urgent questions, perennial concerns made vivid and visceral.
In Damascus, Tsiolkas has written a masterpiece of imagination and transformation: an historical novel of immense power and an unflinching dissection of doubt and faith, tyranny and revolution, and cruelty and sacrifice.
Join Christos as he speaks candidly with fellow author and long-time friend Malcolm Knox about his own winding path to Damascus.
Thanks to Delta Kay, Arakwal Bundjalung woman, for the Welcome to Country on this podcast.
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels including the international bestseller The Slap and Barracuda. His most recent novel is Damascus. He lives in Melbourne.
Malcolm Knox is the author of six novels and fourteen nonfiction books. His new novel Bluebird will be published by Allen & Unwin in September.
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