About the author

Amanda Lohrey

About the book

Judges' report

Richard Kline is middle-class, well-educated, well cared for and well paid, but he has suffered his entire life from chronic ennui. Sex, work, therapy, love and parenthood all help for a little while, but the boredom, the emptiness and the sense of suffering always return. When Richard encounters the Indian spiritual guru Sri Mari and is inexplicably moved to tears, he begins to believe in the possibility of fulfilment.

Making the spiritual quest of a self-absorbed, discontented, often smug and self-important man feel relevant and interesting to readers is a big task, but Amanda Lohrey engages from the outset. Her characteristically precise, sometimes startling language and use of a shifting point of view allow the reader to be both within and outside of Richard’s experience, to feel as he does and to think about what that feeling means. The result is a moving, challenging and ultimately unsettling novel, which uses one man’s search for meaning to ask big questions about how to live.

Further reading


‘It’s ambitious subject matter, tackling the meaning of life head on, but Lohrey’s deft prose and sensitivity to the complexity of portraying her character’s inner life lends Kline’s spiritual quest a level of authenticity that feels utterly convincing. This is a fascinating read by one of Australia’s finest contemporary writers.’ Sally Keighery, Readings

‘[Amanda Lohrey] has an unusual capacity for intellectual and emotional empathy, and a language supple enough to express both.’ Morag Fraser, Sydney Morning Herald


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