In the warm alkaline waters of the public bath a headstrong young engineer accidentally collides with a beautiful actress. From this incent collision of flesh begins a passion that takes them from the Wiltshire Downs to the most elemental choices of life and death in the Australian desert. Their intense romance is but part of the daring story that unfolds. Mingling history, myth and techlogy with a modern cinematic and poetic imagination, Robert Drewe presents a fable of European ambitions in an alien landscape, and a magnificently sustained metaphor of water as the life-and-death force.
Robert Drewe was born in Melbourne on January 9, 1943, but from the age of six, when his father moved the family west to a better job in Perth, he grew up and was educated on the West Australian coast. The Swan River and Indian Ocean coast, where he learned to swim and surf, made an immediate and lasting impression on him. At Hale School he was captain of the school swimming team and editor of the school magazine, the 'Cygnet'. Swimming and publishing have remained interests all his life On his 18th birthday, already wishing to be a writer but unsure 'who was in charge of Writing', he joined 'The West Australian' as a cadet reporter. Three years later he was recruited by 'The Age' in Melbourne, and was made chief of that newspaper's Sydney bureau a year later, at 22. Sydney became home for him and his growing family, mostly in a small sandstone terrace in Euroka Street, North Sydney, where Henry Lawson had once lived. Robert Drewe became, variously, a well-known columnist, features editor, literary editor and special writer on 'The Australian' and the 'Bulletin'. During this time he travelled widely throughout Asia and North America, won two Walkley Awards for journalism and was awarded a Leader Grant travel scholarship by the United States Government. While still in his twenties, he turned from journalism to writing fiction. Beginning with 'The Sava