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About the Author
Christina Stead was the author of over a dozen works of fiction and the recipient of The Patrick White Prize. Her many other works include The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney. She was born in Australia in 1902 and died in 1983.
"This crazy, gorgeous family novel is one of the great literary achievements of the twentieth century. I carry it in my head the way I carry childhood memories; the scenes are of such precise horror and comedy that I feel I didn't read the book so much as live it." --Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections
"A story of life, faithfully plotted, clearly told, largely peopled with real souls, genuine problems; it is realistically set, its intention and drive are openly and fully revealed; it is also a work of absolute originality." --Elizabeth Hardwick
"It must be a classic, for there are very few novels in English that are as large and as beautifully written." --Robert Lowell
"One of the best novels of this century." --Walter Clemons, Newsweek