- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Anh and Lucien
By Tony Page
Anh and Lucien is a compelling celebration of male desire and intimacy – and also a gripping clash of cultures and ideologies. Danger and death pervade Tony Page’s sensuous and sensitive evocation of a risky love affair in an alluring, unsettled place and time, Indochina 1940. Intrigue and art, passion and espionage interweave to drive and doom the relationship between Anh, a young revolutionary, and Lucien, a disaffected French bureaucrat. Page skilfully deploys alternating dramatic monologues to increase the tension as loyalty and betrayal merge towards Lucien’s final sacrifice.
The story of desire between two men is told with exquisite beauty and restraint using prose poems, epistolary poems, found poems and documentary poems to build from suspense a tragedy that is also a victory for humanity over small-mindedness and oppression. In Page’s hands, the verse novel takes another step forward.