David Foster: The Pure Land

(552 words)
  • Narelle Shaw

Foster’s first novel The Pure Land is organised in four parts. Part One is set in the 1930s, in the Blue Mountains tourist town of Katoomba which is marked by dichotomes: it is “a European principality” “under the gums”. Progress is pitted against the scenery “which did not progress”. The protagonist, middle-aged Albert Manwaring, is a landscape photographer. Estranged from his wife, who heads to Bondi, “that other pole from Katoomba”, he “elop[es]” with his daughter Janet to the other side of the world, America. Symbolically, the movement is “from the relative purity of the antipodean high mountains” into what the novel sees as the future.

Part Two, …

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Shaw, Narelle. "The Pure Land". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7493, accessed 28 November 2015.]