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Society & Culture

Led by James Naughtie, a group of readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels


Tim Winton - Dirt Music

October 5th, 2014

Episode 396 of 438 episodes

With James Naughtie. Celebrated Australian writer Tim Winton discusses his novel Dirt Music with a group of readers. Tim reveals how after seven years of writing Dirt Music, he was unable to hand it in to his publisher on the agreed date. He felt ashamed of the novel and that it wasn't ready; if he found himself getting lost in it so would the reader. He spent the next fifty-five days redrafting and rewriting, and the novel went on to be short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2002 and is considered one of his best. Dirt Music is set on the coast of Western Australia and in its vast isolated deserts. Forty year old Georgie Jutland is a mess, with her career in ruins she's torn between two men who are both bereaved and grieving. These characters' lives are in stasis, they are incapable of articulating their emotions and instead resort to alcohol and petty crime. Tim Winton explains : "I'm interested in people who have very few words to express feelings, it's not that they don't have feelings but they have no language, and I'm interested in finding ways to portray that ... and in this instance it's space, memory and music by which they express themselves or communicate." November's Bookclub choice : And When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison (1993) Presenter : James Naughtie Interviewed Guest : Tim Winton Producer : Dymphna Flynn.

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