Shortlisted for the 2015 Stella Prize

The Golden Age – Joan London

Fiction · Vintage Books

The Golden Age

About the book

“London explores the social and emotional implications of her story with quiet power and precision

– 2015 Stella Prize Judges

About the author

Joan London

Further Reading


“[I]t is a measure of London’s deftness as a storyteller that the novel is … a universal meditation on nostalgia and hope, belonging and exile, love and loss, old world and new. Indeed, for a relatively short work it contains multitudes: narratives overlaid and assembled in such a way as to link disparate characters, milieus, generations, their respective fates imbricated like tiles on a roof. This sense of compression is aided by prose that often feels closer to poetry, that most direct of routes by which language gets to the truth of things.” – Geordie Williamson, The Australian

“Although the setting may seem grim – the Golden Age is the name of the hospital where Frank and Elsa’s love story takes place – this novel is a brilliant display of life and change: the transition between war and peace, between love and permission, between terrible paralysis of various kinds and movement.” – Brenda Walker, The Monthly

“The best way to plumb the lovely depths of this novel is to let it reveal itself.” – Helen Elliott, Sydney Morning Herald

“Her writing, which calls attention to itself only by its precision, gives you an opportunity, the way silence sometimes does, to reflect productively. Best of all, it returns you to an early pleasure: the pleasure of story, of wanting to know what happens next.” – Tegan Bennett Daylight, Sydney Review of Books

Judges’ report

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