The young Australian writer, Julia Leigh, has been hailed as a talent to watch in the 21st century. The Hunter
, her first novel, is a strange and haunting story which opens straight onto the world of its protagonist, M: "The mini-bus takes fifteen minutes to arrive in town: "Welcome to Tiger Town" reads a sign by the highway, "Population: 20,000"". Assuming the identity of Martin David, Naturalist, M makes his preparations for a hunt: he, and the reader, will be spending some time in the Tasmanian wilderness in search of the legendary tiger, the thylacine. In crafted, measured and often beautiful prose, Leigh offers her readers glimpses of who M is, or might be, and what he is looking for. There is a hint that the thylacine's genetic material has been "declared capable of winning a thousand wars", a gift to bio-weaponry, but M remains detached: "M does not know, cannot know and does not want to know, but there is no question the race is on to harvest the beast". M's not wanting to know guides the narrative: he is solitary, unconnected, only occasionally giving in to the desires for human and sexual, contact which emerge through M's vague, yet somehow yearning, association with the woman and two children with whom he stays when not out on the hunt. But the feeling centre of the book is anchored elsewhere in the unique connection between M and the tiger, in Leigh's meticulous exploration of the beauty--and terror--of the relation between killer and killed. --Vicky Lebeau
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Julia Leigh was born in Sydney in 1970. She studied Arts/Law at the University of Sydney. The Hunter
, her début novel, has been published around the world and has won numerous awards, including a Betty Trask Award and the 2001 Prix de l'Astrolabe. It was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, longlisted for a US National Book Critics' Circle Award and was a finalist for the Meilleur Livre Etranger. Julia Leigh was chosen by the Observer
as one of twenty-one writers to watch in the millennium, and the New York Times
selected her book as a 'Notable Book of the Year'. Leigh's second book, Disquiet
, won the 2009 bi-annual Encore Award.