Author(s): Christos Tsiolkas
Please join us at Beaufort Street Books for an in-conversation event with Christos Tsiolkas on November 12th at 6.15pm for 6.30pm to discuss his latest novel - DAMASCUS
Tickets are $10 and include cheese and refreshments.
About the book:
Christos Tsiolkas’ stunning new novel Damascus is a work of soaring ambition and achievement, of immense power and epic scope, taking as its subject nothing less than events surrounding the birth and establishment of the Christian church.
Based around the gospels and letters of St Paul, and focusing on characters one and two generations from the death of Christ, as well as Paul (Saul) himself, Damascus nevertheless explores the themes that have always obsessed Tsiolkas as a writer: class, religion, masculinity, patriarchy, colonisation, exile; the ways in which nations, societies, communities, families and individuals are united and divided.
The product of years of research, Damascus reminds readers of the truly egalitarian basis of Christianity – all are equal, men or women, enslaved or free, rich or poor; and that all wealth and labour shall be equally shared. ‘Not long after the death of my father,’ says Tsiolkas, ‘I was sitting in my mother’s kitchen and we began a discussion, sometimes brutal, but intoxicating and necessary. We were talking of the despair and misery she experienced when I revealed to her that I was homosexual. She talked to me of how her fears had led her close to taking her own life. As a migrant woman, she lived in a community where frank discussions of sex and sexuality were considered shameful: she could not talk freely to her friends and family. Tentatively, fearfully I asked her “How did you survive it?” and her answer surprised me. She told me how it was reading Paul’s letters in her Greek copy of the Bible that gave her both strength and understanding. She said, “I realised, through Paul’s works, that God loves you.”’
Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels including the international bestseller The Slap and most recently Barracuda, shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the inaugural Voss Literary Prize. The Slap and Barracuda were both adapted into celebrated television series. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.