Author(s): Brian Castro
Blindness and Rage is a novel told in 34 cantos, somewhat in the manner of Pushkin's great Russian novel in verse, Eugene Onegin. Castro's hero Lucien Gracq is a townplanner from Adelaide who is writing a book-length poem, Paidia. Doubtful of its reception, he travels to Paris to join a literary club which guarantees its members anonymity, by having their books published under someone else's name, while the authors themselves are encouraged to commit suicide if they are not already, as in Gracq's case, facing death from a terminal illness. Castro's novel is a part-serious, part-comic fantasy on the present fate of literary authors, who might as well be anonymous, or dead, for all the recognition that they are likely to receive for their writing.
2018 PM’s Literary Award, Poetry