November 2012 Arnold Zable's most recent book, Violin Lessons, a collection of stories, has been short listed for a New South Wales Premiers award
Violin Lessons, new edition published in July, 2012
A young boy plays the violin for his mother in Melbourne. Nina Simone sings 'Pirate Jenny' in a bar in Berlin. A fisherman plays a flute on the Mekong. And the strains of Paganini resonate in the forests of eastern Poland. From the cabarets and houseboats of 1940s Baghdad, to the streets of war-torn Saigon, and the canals and alleys of present-day Venice, music weaves through each of these spellbinding true stories. These are tales of hardship, of yearning and of celebration. Tales that span the globe, and bring us back to Melbourne to the extraordinary story of Amal, her flight from Iraq, her fears boarding the unseaworthy boat Australians would come to know as SIEV X, her night spent clinging to a corpse alone in the sea, and her desire to have her story told.
Reviewing Violin Lessons for the Australian Book Review, Jose Borghino concludes: At its best, Zable's writing reminds me of W.G. Sebald - enigmatic, self-aware, exploratory. in his hands, storytelling paradoxically becomes a salve for the unhealable wounds it describes, memory brings home the shock of loss - but is also the only way of reaching the dead - and music is a trace that both recalls exile and undoes it.
Arnold Zable delivers The 2011 Colin Simpson lectureThe Power of Story
Australian Society of Authors
Delivered on Sat. March 19th, the lecture is NOW available on the ASA website
Arnold Zable's most recent novel, Sea of Many Returns, nominated for the Impac Dublin Literary Award, 2010
Ithaca, the island of Homer's Odyssey, has beguiled readers for millennia. In his latest novel, Sea of Many Returns, Arnold Zable takes us to modern-day Ithaca, to its mountains, its villages and its harbours, and into the houses of its people. Sea of Many Returns is a profound meditation on displacement and exile, a story that affirms the enduring resonance of the Odyssey for voyagers of all times.