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by Delia Falconer
Publication Date: 01/11/2020
RRP  $29.99 $24.25

As I set out from the city's southern end, the sandstone walls beneath the Central railway line still held the day's heat...I passed a row of old terraces where feral banana trees had colonised the tiny courtyards behind them, and walked on, past the smell of Thai food, up dirty William Street...The moon rose from the invisible harbour into a sky of such deep royal blue it was almost hard to believe in. The street smelled of low tied. For all its beauty, the city could return in an instant to pulp. And that thought was strangely cheering.

Sydney has always been the sexiest and brashest of our cities, but perhaps the most misunderstood. In this new edition of Sydney - part of the classic City Series - Delia Falconer conjures up its sandstone, humidity and jacarandas, its fireworks, glitz and magic. But she discards lazy stereotypes to reveal a complex city: beautiful, violent, half-wild, and at times deeply spiritual.

Beginning with her childhood in a decaying '70s Sydney, caught between a faded Art Deco age and mega development, Falconer intertwines her own stories with the wellsprings of the city's history and its literary past. Melancholic, moving and funny - Sydney is about its people: mad clergymen, amateur astronomers, Indigenous weather experts, crimes and victims, photographers and artists, thinkers and dreamers. Falconer's Sydney is intensely atmospheric and seductive.

Now with a new Afterword in which Falconer ponders the city's twenty-first century transformations - might it have become a softer, nicer place? Will it be able to withstand the real presence of climate change? - and her own.

Travel & holiday guides
Publication Date:
NewSouth Publishing
Country of origin:
2nd Edition
Dimensions (mm):

"THIS is Delia Falconer's Sydney. She journeys through time and space (both hers and her city's) as an explorer, gentle companion and confidant to the ghosts of its swaggering history. This soul travel gives the book both its allure and alienation. Falconer writes beautifully and evocatively in what is a long love letter to her home town, as she delves deep into its essence. But it is in the depths that she changes, like an alchemist, the city's meaning. Perception is all. Many Sydneysiders may not recognise, or have empathy, with this place...Falconer's Sydney dazzles. You can see the city's showers of light, its clashes of lightning, its thunder teeming. Such is her skill, the elements shear off their axes. You can feel the crush of heat and humidity on your skin in summer, and the cleansing when a tempest sweeps through and washes the city clean."
The Age 

"Delia Falconer's like its harbour, brimful with tones, vivid with contemplation."
Australian Book Review

"[Falconer's] arguments about the sombre undercurrents of Sydney are more delicate than I can give here, but she has succeeded in doing something no other writer has achieved in writing about Sydney: she has given it a melancholic and spectral seriousness that for far too long has been hidden under tinsel and fairy lights. In other words, she has given the city a unique, mythic dimension. This is a brilliant book. If I were to recommend a book about Sydney to anyone, it would be this one."
Louis Nowra, The Australian

"Falconer's Sydney depicts a city of beauty and violence, of pain and redemption. Whatever your relationship with Sydney, put aside your entrenched preconceptions and explore this book. It may not change your opinion of Australia's largest city, but I'm certain this book will give you a new perspective on our first city"
The Canberra Times

Delia Falconer

Delia Falconer is the author of three books: two novels and one work of creative non-fiction. Her first novel, the bestselling The Service of Clouds, was shortlisted for major literary awards including the Miles Franklin, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and the Australian Booksellers' Book of the Year. Her second, The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, was shortlisted among other awards for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Asia Pacific Division).

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