The Slap

Cover image for The Slap by Christos Tsiolkasby Christos Tsiolkas
Australia. 2008. 496 pages.

At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.

This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.

In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.

What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity—all the passions and conflicting beliefs—that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth.

About the author

Christos Tsiolkas photo by  Cathryn Tremain for The AgeChristos Tsiolkas (born 1965) is an Australian author. He was born and grew up in Melbourne and was educated at the University of Melbourne where he completed an Arts Degree in 1987. Tsiolkas’ first novel, Loaded(1995), was filmed as Head On (1998) by director Ana Kokkinos, starring Alex Dimitriades. In 2006, his novel, Dead Europe, won The Age Book of the Year fiction award. In 2009, his fourth novel, The Slap, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2009 for best novel in the South-East Asia and South Pacific area. In 2009, Tsiolkas was named one of the 25 most influential gay Australians by readers of the website (Text credit: Wikipedia; image credit: Cathryn Tremain for The Age

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