Its piercing look at consequences of Australia’s inability to understand itself, and reconcile, stood out for me
Through Pearl and Axel, Olsson brings the reader to mid-1960s Sydney. The visionary awarding of the design to Utzon — the result of an international competition — is accompanied by a stultifying timidity from a culture still making undrinkable coffee. The social changes brought by the waves of European immigration are yet to take hold:
He picked at the slices of bread in his hand, the odd contents of his sandwich. There was something yellow and viscous on the cheese that didn’t look or smell right. Jago leaned towards him. Corn relish, he said quietly. It makes me cry also.
Read more at Newtown Review of Books.