The Monkeys Mask (Mask Noir) Paperback – 15 Oct 1997
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Toronto Star 'The most remarkable first novel I have read this year...clutching the reader with a grip like a talon round the throat. (Val McDermid Manchester Evening News)
Sensational... A book to rave about, to gasp at the daring, the beauty - and the wit (Australian Bookseller & Publisher)
...the poetic device sets a breakneck, rock 'n (roll video pace to take the breath away)
About the Author
Dorothy Porter has established an international reputation as one of Australia's most exciting and innovative writers. Born in Sydney in 1954, she graduated from Sydney University in 1975, the same year as her first volume of poetry, Little Hoodlum, was published. Attaining a Diploma of Education, she supported her writing by part-time teaching for a number of years, before becoming a lecturer in Poetry and Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her verse crime thriller, The Monkey's Mask, has become an international bestseller. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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Interlaced with an investigation into the disappearance and later murder of Mickey, Jill the protagonist enters into unfamiliar terrority with her exploration into the world of poetry. She encounters people and situations which cause her to question her ideas about the identity of art as well as to begin to see beyond the surface in other aspects of life. Mixing Jill with characters of varying classes, Porter also asks the reader to examine their attitudes to the myths of Australian society, in particular the dominance of the idea that Australia is a classless egalitarian society. The much used themes of the Australian character as an unsophisticated, no-nonsense person in a society with limited acceptable roles available to it's people, (particularly in regards to gender)is questioned and the suggestion is that this view (or myth) may be outdated and overrepresented.
This text is a fast-paced, metatextual piece which captures the attention of the reader and takes the reader (well, this reader anyway) willingly along to emerge at the end with new ideas of current society, text genres and characters.
I highly recommend this text to anyone who is interested in delving into something innovative and thought-provoking.