Simon Cleary's The War Artist
Time & Location
About The Event
Join Simon Cleary for the launch of his new novel, The War Artist, a timely and compelling story about the legacy of war, the power of art and the possibility of atonement. And who better to launch this than journalist and author Peter FitzSimons, who has brought so much of our storied military history to life in many of his books?! Note: this event will commence at the slightly earlier time of 6.15pm.
About the Book
When Brigadier James Phelan returns from Afghanistan, he is left traumatised by the tragic death of a young soldier under his command. An encounter with Sydney tattoo artist Kira leaves him with a permanent tribute to the soldier, and is a meeting that will change the course of his life. What he isn’t expecting is a campaign of retribution from the soldiers who blame him for the ambush and threaten his career. With his marriage also on the brink, his life spirals out of control.
Extensively researched, The War Artist explores the topical concerns of PTSD and other challenges facing returned soldiers as they transition back into civilian life. However, Simon Cleary's long-held interest in the impact of war comes from a very personal place.
‘My grandfather fought in the First World War and returned to Australia with enough nightmares to last a lifetime,’ says Cleary. ‘I was always fascinated by how he seemed both enhanced and traumatised by the experience. A confident, successful man by day, his sleep was haunted by nightmares.’
With gripping war scenes, finely drawn characters and the alluring motif of tattoos and their healing power, The War Artist is an enthralling novel, and the first in Australia to explore the legacy of our involvement in Afghanistan.
Praise for Simon Cleary
‘Brave and impressive.’ - David Malouf
‘A consummate stylist.’ - The Age
‘Cleary is a skilled and at times mesmerising novelist.’ - Good Reading
About the Author
Simon Cleary is the author of two previous novels. The Comfort of Figs (2008) was published after the manuscript was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. His second novel, Closer to Stone (2012), was inspired by his experiences in North Africa at the commencement of the Algerian civil war in the 1990s. It went on to win the Queensland Literary Awards People’s Choice Award in 2012. He lives in Brisbane. For more, see: simoncleary.com
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