Nominated by:

The State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Publisher of nominated edition:

HarperCollins, Australia

Spirit of Progress

Steven Carroll    

The thing that makes you, it never goes. A sleek high-speed train glides silently through the French countryside, bearing Michael, an Australian writer, and his travelling world of memory and speculation. Melbourne, 1946, calls to him: the pressure cooker of the city during World War II has produced a small creative miracle, and at this pivotal moment the lives of his newly married parents, a group of restless artists, a proud old woman with a tent for a home, a journalist, a gallery owner, a farmer and a factory developer irrevocably intersect. And all the while the Spirit of Progress, the locomotive of the new age, roars through their lives like time′s arrow, pointing to the future and the post-war world only some of them will enter.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Steven Carroll was born in Melbourne and grew up in Glenroy. He went to La Trobe University and taught English in high schools before playing in bands in the 1970s. After leaving the music scene he began writing as a playwright and became the theatre critic for The Sunday Age. He has recently given up his lecturing post at RMIT to write full time and lives in Brunswick, Victoria.

His novels The Art of the Engine Driver and The Gift of Speed were both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2008 The Time We Have Taken won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, South-East Asia and South Pacific region as well as the 2008 Miles Franklin Award, Australia′s most prestigious literary prize.

Librarian’s Comments:

Spirit of Progress  was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. The author “transmutes the grey facts of daily life into light and luminous art” Geordie Williamson – “The Australian”(review)

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