Birds of Passage

Birds of Passage

by Brian Castro
published 1983
Ligature untapped
genre Literary Fiction

Reading fragments of his ancestor’s journal Lo Yun Shan gives Australian-born Chinese man Seamus O’Young an odd sensation: familiarity. Their lives are quite different—Shan left China for the goldfields in the mid-19th century—but something links them. As Seamus seeks to understand what it is, and what it means, his mind begins to unravel in Brian Castro’s astonishing debut.

‘Full of subtle colours, flavours, and entirely convincing.’ —The Australian

‘brilliantly evoked, powerful and haunting.’ —The Sydney Morning Herald

‘a quest for identity, and hence meaning, spanning countries, cultures, generations.’ — Asiaweek

‘consistently excellent’ — The Canberra Times

First published in 1983, Birds of Passage was joint winner, The Australian/Vogel National Literary Award the previous year.

Acclaimed novelist, poet and academic, Brian Castro was the recipient of the Patrick White Award in 2014. His novels include Double-Wolf (1991), Stepper (1997), the multi-award-winning Shanghai Dancing (2003), and recently, Blindness and Rage: A Phantasmagoria: A Novel in Thirty-four Cantos (2017), which won the 2018 Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry.