On the far northwest coast of Tasmania at Cape Grimm lies the isolated and idiosyncratic community of Skye, which practises a religion that reveres the imagination.
One clear evening in 1992 all the inhabitants enter the church hall, where they are locked in and burned alive. They have been persuaded to do this by a young man called Caleb Mean - also known as El Nino, the Christ Child. The only survivors of the fire are Caleb, his lover Virginia, and their baby daughter Golden.
How could such a thing happen? And why? Do the answers lie in the tragedy of the Aborigines herded over the cliffs at Cape Grimm by white settlers? Are they in the history of Skye itself, founded by the unlikely survivors of a 19th-century shipwreck? Or do they lie within the mysteries of the human soul?
'Cape Grimm' is a novel of and about charismatic power. Its story of dangerous obsession explores the disturbing psyche of contemporary Australia, using both the facts of history and the morality of fairytales.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 02 / 2004