In the late afternoon of a day in February, that hottestof Australian summer months, when a brutal sun stoodbronze above the river flats which you may see fromthe dormitory windows of Chatterton, Charles came to the school with his mother, walking from the railway stationto the gates by a private path across a burnt, untidy field,overhung with Cape lilacs that still drooped, dusty andmelancholy...In the lower part of his belly fear kicked and pulsed like a child in the womb, ready to be born.
Fifteen-year-old Charles Fox is sent away to boarding school, innocent, alone and afraid. There one of his masters develops an intense attachment to him. But when Charles meetsMargaret,a girl staying at a nearby farm for the holidays, he is besotted, and a passionate, unforgettable romance begins.
Published in London in 1937 to wide acclaim,The Young DesireItis a stunning debut novel about coming of age- an intimate and lyrical account of first love, anda rich evocation of rural Western Australia.Itwon theAustralian Literature SocietyGold Medal, and is nowback in print as a Text Classic with a new introduction by David Malouf.
'A hymn to youth, to life, to sexual freedom and moral independence.' - David Malouf
'A book to set beside James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man...The best novel I've read in a long, long time...One of the great stories of first love...Why isn't this stunning novel famous?' - Michael Dirda, The Washington Post