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Allen & Unwin
Winner of the 2005 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, this is a pitch perfect, intriguing, artful novel about exile and apathy, attraction and isolation.
'Tuvalu ... Everyone has a place like that. A dream land or life they're working towards, however vaguely. ... Some people probably have more than one Tuvalu in a life. It changes as they grow. Or maybe they get to the first one and find it's nothing like they imagined and need a new one. You must have had at least one?'
A love story of sorts, Tuvalu tells the story of Noah Tuttle, who is glumly and aimlessly living a half kind of life in a cheap rundown hostel in the seamier margins of Tokyo, a place overrun with feral cats and cockroaches. He teaches mediocre English to disinterested students, sleeps with his girlfriend, Tilly, when she's around, drinks beer when he can afford it, and generally avoids other people and their expectations. Nothing much happens to him - until, that is, he meets the wealthy, captivating and completely self-absorbed Mami Kaketa, a supremely selfish creature who leaves people like so much litter in her wake, so brazen and capricious she should come with a health warning.
A blackly funny, inconclusive and strangely beguiling story of ennui, escape, exile and dreams.