Alex Miller

 

The Mountain

 

Drusilla Modjeska

The Mountain

Judges' comments

As ambitious in its reach as it is perceptive and accomplished, The Mountain stakes out new territory in our fictional landscape. This is a big novel in every sense, whose length and span reflect its serious intent and intellectual heft. 

Drusilla Modjeska’s deft insights and subtle observations balance sweeping national transformation with the deeply personal as she explores from different perspectives and  in different lights the multiple, often interlocked and frequently clashing regions of politics, history, philosophy, race, myth, art, love, family, beliefs and colonial change.

On one level, this sweeping two-part work is a grand exposition of Papua New Guinea’s transition to self-government and development as an independent nation, where a tide of modernity crashes up against centuries-old cultures; on another, it is a profound exposition of individuals, of the contradictions of being human, of the secrets and complications of national and family heritages, the confusions of intimacy and desire, and the influence on us all of clan and culture.

This is a mesmeric tale of love and loss, of large joys and deep sorrows, of devotion and disloyalty.