Dear Mr Elliot Perlman,
It has been a long time since I have visited with one of your works. I was hopeful when I assigned The Street Sweeper to our book club list for 2012. An Australian, contemporary work – that is the category in which you came to us to read. But I was somewhat concerned – a lengthy novel, spanning so much history, so many intertwined narratives. Would I have the patience to persevere? Would you deliver a cleverly, mastered story that would draw me in and up into another world?
Yes. You did it Mr Perlman. I am ashamed to say what I thought I understood about race, identity and the perversion of humanity via acts of evil but nothing compared to the detail and reality you painted with the words of your characters.
In truth, you had me at the beginning….pencil in hand I started to underline your prose.
Memory is a wilful dog. It won’t be summoned or dismissed but it cannot survive without you. It can sustain you or feed you. It visits when it is hungry not when you are. It has a schedule all of its own that you can never know. It can capture you, corner you or liberate you. It can leave you howling and it can make you smile.
Your latest novel, The Street Sweeper has given me memory of new people and places; of that delicious feeling of being captivated by a story and giving yourself over to it as you lock yourself away on a cold, wintery night and read and read and read…….
Thank you visiting with us. I dare not tell much more because I want my readers to enjoy this one for themselves.