Winner of the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for fiction
Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2019
The art historian Noah Glass, having just returned from a trip to Sicily, is discovered floating face down in the swimming pool at his Sydney apartment block. His adult children, Martin and Evie, must come to terms with the shock of their father’s death. But a sculpture has gone missing from a museum in Palermo, and Noah is a suspect. The police are investigating.
None of it makes any sense. Martin sets off to Palermo in search of answers about his father’s activities, while Evie moves into Noah’s apartment, waiting to learn where her life might take her. Retracing their father’s steps in their own way, neither of his children can see the path ahead.
Gail Jones’s mesmerising new novel tells a story about parents and children, and explores the overlapping patterns that life makes. The Death of Noah Glass is about love and art, about grief and happiness, about memory and the mystery of time.
The author of seven novels and two collections of stories, Gail Jones is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, awarded several prizes in Australia. Internationally her fiction has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the IMPAC Award and the Prix Femina Étranger. She lives in Glebe, NSW.
‘Told masterfully from the perspective of three finely drawn characters, The Death of Noah Glass combines an enjoyable escapade involving art theft, mafia conspiracy, romance and a suspicious death with a literary exploration of grief, identity and the power of the past to damage present lives. Fans of Jones will not be disappointed, and new readers should find much to recommend it.’ Books+Publishing
‘The Death of Noah Glass is a transportive novel, dreamy and evocative, and full of richly-drawn characters. It’s sure to send first-time readers of Gail Jones on a journey through her extensive back catalogue.’ Culturefly
‘Jones is one of our greatest writers—for her enormous wisdom and insight as well as the shimmering intensity of her descriptive language.’ West Australian
‘An oblique and poetic novel… a vivid, unsettling study of mortality.’ Sunday Times
‘The Death of Noah Glass is among (Jones’s) finest work and I expect it will be among this year’s outstanding novels.’ Australian
‘…Swooningly lyrical, carrying the reader along in the wake of its beauty.’ Australian Book Review
‘This polished, pensive novel that swirls so much about, tantalising with implications amid the patterned intricacy of linked scenes, returning symbols and motifs. It’s a book that needs to be read closely…It’s a book about ways of seeing and about the gaps that persist between vision and understanding. And in the end this novel—which is dedicated to the memory of Jones’s father—is also about patrimony as the pattern and measure that fathers leave behind them.’ Saturday Paper
‘Beautifully lit…Jones’ writing demands that the read slow down in order to enjoy every word. Martin is an artist, but then again so is the author, and she too notices hue, texture and nuance.’ Big Issue
‘In poetic prose that calls for slower reading to fully appreciate its metaphoric meaning, the narrative, as the mystery is untangled, explores the effects of grief and loss and the theme of time. You could re-read this book for the pleasure and stimulation of the language alone.’ Good Reading
‘Jones displays a formidable, eclectic knowledge that she distributes among her characters...an intellectually strenuous entertainment concerned with the nature and loss of senses, of filial obligations and their cost, of the vertiginous role of chance. Jones has challenged herself – and her readers – in another rich and accomplished work.’ Sydney Morning Herald