The Sun Walks Down

Fiona McFarlane

293 pages Literary Fiction

An expansive and visionary novel, centered around one of Australia’s oldest stories – the child lost in the wilderness, The Sun Walks Down weaves an exploratory story of unsettlement, told in many ways and by many voices.

When six-year-old Denny Wallace goes missing in the small town of Fairly, in the South Australian wilderness, a stretching, multi-voice narrative unfolds, as those close to and distant from Denny begin the search for a young boy all alone in the desert. Set against the dramatic landscape of Australia’s Flinders Ranges, and the area’s complicated past, the novel explores the deep knowledge of place that animates the both the landscape and the characters.

 

“This novel grew out of my love of the arid landscape of Australia’s Flinders Ranges, which is littered with the stone ruins of the colonial farms and towns that failed to thrive there in the nineteenth century… the disquieting beauty of this ‘ghost desert’ really crystallised, for me, the idea of Australia’s colonial history as a series of unsettlements, beginning with the violent dispossession of the land’s traditional owners… And alongside all these ideas, one main image pulled me through the story: a six-year-old boy out in the desert, alone.”

Fiona McFarlane