Neha Patil

A World of Other People

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Language  English
Media type  Print (Paperback)
Preceded by  Spirit of Progress
Author  Steven Carroll
Genre  Novel
Country  Australia
3.7/5 Goodreads

Publication date  2013
Pages  278
Originally published  2013
Page count  278
ISBN  9780732291204
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Publisher  Fourth Estate, Australia
Similar  Steven Carroll books, Novels

A World of Other People (2013) is a novel by Australian author Steven Carroll. It was the joint winner of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.


Plot summary

The novel uses T. S. Eliot's poem "Little Gidding" from Four Quartets as a starting point. The time is 1941 and London is experiencing The Blitz. Iris, a young civil servant, has volunteered to be an aircraft spotter on a building in Russell Square. Another spotter is Eliot himself, as the building is the headquarters of the publishing house, Faber & Faber. Late one night the pair witness the crash of a British Wellington, and Eliot goes on to write his poem utilising this incident. At the initial public reading of the poem, Jim, the pilot of the crashed aircraft, happens to be in the audience and recognises his accident being depicted in the poem.


  • Andrew Reimer in The Sydney Morning Herald noted that the book is a "highly accomplished novel...eloquent and assured."
  • Andrew Fuhrmann in The Sydney Review of Books states: "So clear and careful is the prose in A World of Other People that it produces a kind of dreamy dollhouse effect, a toy theatre, a meticulously reconstructed model London with a T.S. Eliot doll at its centre, ventriloquially recognisable, albeit speaking in squeaks and stammers. There is also a sense of stillness, a sense of intimacy: a kind of prosaic equivalent to the Quartets and their air of a closed or self-contained world.
  • Awards and nominations

  • 2014 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature — Award for Fiction
  • 2014 joint winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards — Fiction With Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • References

    A World of Other People Wikipedia

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