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Late Journals

176 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published April 2022
ISBN 9781925818970

Late Journals

Antigone Kefala

The latest work by Antigone Kefala, renowned for both her poetry and her prose, one of the first writers to open Australian literature to a diversity of voices, and one of the most distinctive and powerful of those voices.

Late Journals completes a trilogy of works in which Kefala develops and expands her range as a memoirist, beginning with Summer Visit (2003), and followed by Sydney Journals (2008), both published by Giramondo. Kefala is not alone in writing in the journal form – Beverley Farmer and Helen Garner are notable contemporaries – but she is remarkable for the poetic resonance and intellectual significance she imparts to her observations. Feeling acutely her position as an outsider, because of her migrant background, she nevertheless expresses a strong sense of community with the writers, artists and thinkers who share her situation, or have influenced her work. The journals abound in portraits and tributes, reflections on art and life, and wonderful descriptions of places and landscapes, which give full reign to her imagination, and her ability to express the vitality and strangeness of the life around her.

In poetry as in prose, Antigone Kefala has made the fragment her form. It’s a form that embodies both salvage and destruction, and it’s wonderfully deployed in Late Journals to snatch moments from time while testifying to discontinuity and loss. I couldn’t stop reading this book. It bears moving witness to a distinctive, cosmopolitan vision and an unwavering faith in the power and integrity of art.Michelle de Kretser

Sydney Journals (2008) and Late Journals (2022) showcase Kefala’s distinctive, cosmopolitan vision. They are, among other things, wonderful Sydney documents, capturing the city’s changing moods and forms through charged, astute, visually rich observation…While the loss of community attendant on migration is felt in Kefala’s Late Journals, this work highlights a different, sustaining kinship: the artists and intellectuals Kefala engages with, their presence and their work serving to enrich her days. There is wonderful generosity in Kefala’s acknowledgment of the creative work that matters to her, and a sense of celebration in her intransigent faith in the value and power of art.
Judges’ citation, Patrick White Literary Award

About the Author

Antigone Kefala

Antigone Kefala has written three works of fiction, The First Journey, The Island and Alexia, and five poetry collections, The Alien, Thirsty Weather, European Notebook, Absence: New and Selected Poems, and Fragments, which won the 2017 Judith Wright Calanthe Award and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry. Her collections of journals are Summer Visit, Sydney Journals and Late Journals, her final work.

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Related News

Antigone Kefala wins 2022 Patrick White Literary Award

‘I am full of admiration for Patrick White, and for the encouragement he has given to Australian writers. I met him several times and liked him. I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award given in his name, and the recognition it offers, as for a long time my writing has existed outside the major lines of Australian literature.’

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Publisher note: Late Journals by Antigone Kefala

Kefala had been writing down her impressions from the period when her family was first displaced from Romania to Greece after WWII, but the physical journals which provide the raw materials for her published Journals date from the early 1970s (her first poetry collection, The Alien, was published in 1973, her first work of fiction, The First Journey, in 1975).

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