A Thousand Tiny TruthsAuthor: Kyo Maclear
Imprint: Picador Australia
Featured in the May, 2012 magazine
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Born of an adulterous affair, ethnically ambiguous and growing up in the racially charged 1960s, life was never going to be kind to Marcel. Living with his white surrogate father, Oliver, Marcel clings to the piecemeal memories of his mother, desperate to know who his real parents are. But the world is changing: coups, revolutions, the end of colonialism. When Oliver leaves Marcel to pursue his dream as a foreign correspondent, Marcel is set adrift in swinging London, a city of magic, of possibilities and of devastating realities. When Marcel joins Oliver in Vietnam, and discovers the truth about his mother, his world is shattered. Years later, when Marcel is asked to take care of eleven-year-old Iris, he is intrigued by her uncanny observations about the world. Her easy grace compels Marcel to confront the past, and to pick up the thousand small fragments that have shaped the man he has become. A profound novel of betrayal and resurrection, A Thousand Tiny Truths asks how long can you carry the wounds of the past before moving into a wholehearted future?
Maclear captures atmosphere: small details are beautifully and eruditely observed and the broad world picture of the 1950s and 60s in the death throes of colonialism is skillfully captured. This book is even more rewarding on a second reading.
Review by: Barbara Baker