Strangers did not, as a rule, find their way to Chez Dom, asmall, dingy Tunisian caf#65533; on Paris' distant fringes. Run bythe widow Houria and her young niece, Sabiha, the caf#65533; offers ahome away from home for the North African immigrant workerstoiling at the great abattoirs of Vaugiraud. But when oneday a lost Australian tourist, John Patterner, seeks shelter in thecaf#65533; from a sudden Parisian rainstorm, the quiet simplicities oftheir lives are changed forever.
John is like no one Sabiha has met before--his calm greyeyes promise her a future she was not yet even aware she wanted.Theirs becomes a contented but unlikely marriage--a marriageof two cultures lived in a third--and yet because they areessentially foreigners to each other, their love story sets in motionan irrevocable course of tragic events.
Years later, living a small, quiet life in suburban Melbourne,what happened at Vaugiraud seems like a distant, troublingdream to Sabiha and John. It is a story about home and family,human frailties and passions, raising questions of morals andpurpose--questions that have no simple answer.
Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. His fifth novel, Conditions of Faith, won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the 2001 New South Wales Premier's Awards. In 2011 he won this award a second time with his most recent novel Lovesong. Lovesong also won the People's Choice Award in the NSW Premier's Awards, the Age Book of the Year Award and the Age Fiction Prize for 2011. In 2007 Landscape of Farewell was published to wide critical acclaim and in 2008 won the Chinese Annual Foreign Novels 21st Century Award for Best Novel and the Manning Clark Medal for an outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life. It was also shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.