Brisbane, Australia: Background information when reading Boy Swallows Universe

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Boy Swallows Universe

by Trent Dalton

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton X
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2019, 464 pages
    Apr 7, 2020, 480 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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About this Book

Brisbane, Australia

This article relates to Boy Swallows Universe

Brisbane skylineBrisbane (pronounced "brizz-binh"), the capital city of Queensland, Australia, is the setting for Trent Dalton's debut novel Boy Swallows Universe. In an essay in the Weekend Australian Magazine, Dalton describes his hometown with his trademark literary flair: "Brisbane is a bat-sucked mango wedged in your mower blades...Brisbane is all five senses working toward a sixth. It smells like mangroves and boiled mud crab and tubs of pineapple pieces on cannery conveyor belts."

That said, Brisbane offers much for the modern tourist to experience, and also has a distinctive history. The city began as a penal settlement in 1824, built by British colonists on indigenous lands. After World War II, waves of immigrants arrived from Europe and Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. More recently, the city has seen an influx of immigrants from China, India and the Middle East, creating a multicultural sense of place with seasonal festivals and myriad cuisines and entertainment venues.

With a ...

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