The Golden Age (Paperback)

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Two young people - Frank and Else, both polio victims - are convalescing in a recovery home, “The Golden Age,” in Australia, where they fall in love.  Their families, their physical therapist, Lidja, their peer Sullivan - all contribute to their ability to heal and lead productive lives.  Jonas Salk’s development of the polio vaccine in the 1950s would have spared them the disease.  A book that affirms the goodness in people.

— From The Golden Age, by Joan London


A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2016

Frank Gold's family, Hungarian jews, flee the perils of World War II for the safety of Australia, but not long after their arrival, thirteen-year-old Frank is diagnosed with polio. He is sent to a sprawling children's hospital called The Golden Age, where he meets Elsa, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, a girl who radiates pure light. Frank and Elsa fall in love, fueling one another's rehabilitation, facing the perils of illness and adolescence hand in hand, and scandalizing the prudish staff of The Golden Age.

Frank and Elsa's parents, too, must cope with their changing realities. Elsa's mother Margaret, who has given up everything to be a perfect mother, must reconcile her hopes and dreams with her daughter's sickness. Frank's parents, transplants to Australia from a war-torn Europe, are isolated newcomers in a country that they do not love and that does not seem to love them. Frank's mother Ida, a renowned pianist in Hungary, refuses to allow the western deserts of Australia to become her home. But her husband, Meyer, slowly begins to free himself from the past and integrate into a new society.

With tenderness and humor, The Golden Age tells a deeply moving story about illness, resilience and recovery. It is a book about learning to navigate the unfamiliar, about embracing music, poetry, death, and, most importantly, life.

2015 Australian Prime Minister's Award for Fiction
2015 Patrick White Literary Award

2015 Kibble Literary Award
Queensland Premier's Award for Fiction
New South Wales Premier's People's Choice Award

About the Author

Joan London is a bookseller and author living in Perth. She is the author of two short story collections, Sister Ships, which won The Age Book of the Year award, and Letter to Constantine, which won the Steele Rudd Award as well as the West Australian Premier's Award for Fiction, and three novels, Gilgamesh, The Good Parents, and The Golden Age.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781609453329
ISBN-10: 1609453328
Publisher: Europa Editions
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English