Prochownik's Dream

Front Cover
Allen & Unwin, 2006 - Fiction - 332 pages
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What is true for one relationship, for one painting, is not true for another...each possesses its own strange inevitability that resists us and we can never finally know what it is we are doing until the work is finished...It is as if the picture paints itself through us, the story tells itself through us, has a larger existence of which we know nothing...'

Toni Powlett is an artist in the grip of a crisis. Since the death of his father, Moniek Prochownik, four years earlier, Toni has been at a creative standstill - until Marina Golding, the wife of his former teacher and mentor, Robert Schwartz, contacts him, and everything changes. Toni finds in Marina the perfect companion of his life in art and his creative energies are re-awakened.

But Toni's newfound inspiration and artistic energy come at the direct expense of his relationship with his wife and daughter. The more dependent for his art he becomes on Marina, the more potentially destructive become the tensions between himself and his wife, Teresa. Toni's dilemma is how to reconcile the transgressive nature of his imaginative life with the daily life of his family, who he loves. Robert Schwartz's dying father, Theo, warns him not to confuse art with life. But by what means is he to achieve such clear-sightedness?

Immensely satisfying, Prochownik's Dream is a work of great subtlety, strength and intellect. Its examination of the artist at work is complex and completely absorbing. But at its heart, very simply, it is a book about love.
  

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
13
Section 4
38
Section 5
52
Section 6
63
Section 7
73
Section 8
80
Section 14
163
Section 15
175
Section 16
185
Section 17
202
Section 18
226
Section 19
240
Section 20
253
Section 21
266

Section 9
98
Section 10
99
Section 11
115
Section 12
126
Section 13
142
Section 22
277
Section 23
286
Section 24
304
Section 25
313
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 94 - I had found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Page 279 - I came to Warley on a wet September morning with the sky the grey of Guiseley sandstone. I was alone in the compartment. I remember saying to myself: "No more zombies, Joe, no more zombies.
Page 243 - Night falls. On the second floor of the Hotel Printania two windows have just lighted up. The building-yard of the New Station smells strongly of damp wood: tomorrow it will rain in Bouville.
Page 91 - He put his arm around her and kissed her on the mouth. 'You don't have to bear anything. Don't be silly! There's nothing to bear. I love you.
Page 269 - Teresa stood at the far end of the passage silhouetted against the light from the courtyard windows. He lifted Nada into his arms and hugged her to him. She struggled to loosen his grip. 'Uncle Andy sold your pictures. Daddy!' she cried breathlessly. 'He said we're going to be rich!
Page 36 - His abandonment of paint and canvas and the switch to installations on the death of his father had been as much a surprise to him as it had been to everyone who knew him.
Page 249 - It was the most important thing he had ever done. He was sure of it.

About the author (2006)

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. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. 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 short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the ALS Gold Medal and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Alex is published internationally and widely in translation. Autumn Laing is his tenth novel.

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