The Remnants is an intricate and deeply philosophical novel about translation between languages, cultures and, ultimately, the translation of the father into the son.
A manuscript written by an Australian art historian is discovered by his son. Claiming to have found a series of lost paintings by Piero della Francesca in Arezzo, the father’s manuscript moves between Renaissance Italy and post-Revolutionary Russia.
At its core is the relationship the father has with an ageing Russian émigrée who, haunted by the ghost of her murdered son, claims to have nursed the poet Osip Mandelstam in his final days. The remnants of the father’s manuscripts, notebooks and diaries are brought together through the son’s commentary.
Praise for The Remnants:
The Remnants is the most exciting Australian novel in recent memory. Challenging, playful, experimental, thrilling, pensive and moving…A book to challenge and stimulate readers of serious fiction, The Remnants should elevate the course of the contemporary Australian novel. It will be a disservice to the future of literature in this country if it isn’t read, discussed, grappled with and commended.THE AUSTRALIAN
It is writing that is elusive and playful, poetic and impassioned: writing that steadily mines the great ideas of literature and philosophy, of religion, art and music, and builds from them a narrative that is, quite simply, wondrous… John Hughes deserves so much kudos for what he has come up with here. He really is one of Australia’s unsung literary treasures.THE CANBERRA TIMES