Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

Article excerpt

Title: The guy, the girl, the artist and his ex

Author: Gabrielle Williams

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2015

'Thank heavens that monstrosity has been taken off the walls of our gallery' (p. 3) declares a letter to the editor after Picasso's Weeping woman is stolen from Melbourne's National Gallery in 1986. However, this novel is not so much about the theft, but about four young people whose lives intersect as a result of the controversial painting's absence.

Gabrielle Williams's fictional account of what might have happened around that time resembles an ensemble-style independent film, as it interweaves chapters about different characters before, during and after the theft. In the genre of a romantic comedy, Williams' narrative is filled with reflections, pathos, offbeat dialogue and unexpected complications as the characters' lives collide with each other. Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny, all older teenagers or in their early twenties, are going through the motions of fighting with their feelings, loving the wrong person or trying to be someone they aren't. Eventually, the characters will face their own personal demons at one giant party.

The structure and language of this novel cater for a modern young audience. The focus on one character per chapter enables the reader to identify and empathise with the unique journey each character has within this witty narrative. …

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