Author(s): Markus Zusak
"Let me tell you about our brother. The fourth Dunbar boy named Clay. Everything happened to him. We were all of us changed through him." The Dunbar boys bring each other up in a house run by their own rules. A family of ramshackle tragedy - their mother is dead, their father has fled - they love and fight, and learn to reckon with the adult world. It is Clay, the quiet one, who will build a bridge; for his family, for his past, for his sins. He builds a bridge to transcend humanness. To survive. A miracle and nothing less. Markus Zusak makes his long-awaited return with a profoundly heartfelt and inventive novel about a family held together by stories, and a young life caught in the current: a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for a painful past.
Shortlisted ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2019 Winner Indie Book Awards Fiction - Book of the Year 2019
"Exquisitely written multigenerational family saga...With heft and historical scope, Zusak creates a sensitively rendered tale of loss, grief, and guilt''s manifestations.'' Publishers Weekly ''An evocative, compassionate and exquisitely composed coming-of-age story about family, love, tragedy and forgiveness. Zusak''s prose is distinct: astute, witty, exquisitely rhythmic, and utterly engrossing. The deliberateness of his sentences, down to the punctuation is something to savour...a profoundly moving and engaging meditation on innocence and the pliable ties that bind family together in a quintessentially Australian setting.'' Australian Books+Publishing Magazine ''So, does it deliver? Yes, in spades. Zusak has crafted a strapping story about love, family, courage, betrayal and guilt...a great novel, rich with meaning, and one that will endure.'' Australian Book Review ''Zusak is a writer of extraordinary empathy and he excels in his understanding of adolescent boys...in his portrayal of the gently traumatised Clay he has created a memorable character to savour... in Bridge of Clay, as earlier in The Book Thief, Zusak has succeeded in creating a story so vibrant and so real that the reader feels enveloped by it. Zusak''s empathy and love for this flawed world permeate his writing and make this new book shine.'' The Australian ''Bridge of Clay is a tender book, set in a world that is anything but. Its enormous ambitions are sustained by heartfelt beliefs, not least in the power of love. This vast novel is a feast of language and irony. Its narrative structure makes demands on the reader but it constantly works through tangled lives to achieve moments of sublime clarity and insight. It is such a compassionate book that it is hard not to fall a bit in love with it yourself. Bridge of Clay shares with Zusak's The Book Thief an underlying sense of the possibility of joy and human dignity even in dehumanising situations. It is driven by no agenda other than a desire to celebrate the ups and downs of flawed mortals. The makes it a breath of fresh air.'' Sydney Morning Herald ''A complex, big-hearted, multi-generational Australian epic, highly evocative and rich in idiom that sprawls across 580 pages, much in the manner of Colleen McCullough, or Tim Winton''s Cloudstreet.'' Good Weekend Magazine ''In 2005, the Australian writer dazzled readers and secured a perch on bestseller lists with The Book Thief ...this book too is a stunner. Devastating, demanding and deeply moving, Bridge of Clay unspools like a kind of magic act in reverse, with feats of narrative legerdemain concealed by misdirection that all make sense only when the elements of the trick are finally laid out. In words that seem to ache with emotion, or perhaps, more aptly, with the suppression of it, Mr Zusak moves us in and out of time. Grief and sacrifice lie at the heart of things, and we can feel it through Mr Zusak''s writing even before we understand the story''s real contours. His style is like free verse, at once spare and dense with feeling and meaning.'' Wall Street Journal ''What truly stands out about Bridge of Clay is the intensity of the prose - the potency of the heartbreak. The depth of grief and loss is so palpable you can all but feel the blood, sweat, and tears that went into crafting the story. Zusak ably conjures the chaos of family life and the scars of abandonment; the way memory and tragedy inform the story reads, at times, nothing short of visceral.'' Entertainment Weekly
Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there to this day. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.