Goldsmith, Andrea 1950–
Goldsmith, Andrea 1950–
PERSONAL: Born 1950, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Barbara Mobbs, P.O. Box 126, Edgecliff, New South Wales 2027, Australia.
CAREER: Worked as a speech pathologist until 1987; creative writing teacher.
AWARDS, HONORS: Australia Council grants; Arts Victoria Award.
Gracious Living, Penguin Books (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1990.
Modern Interiors, Penguin Books (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1991.
Facing the Music, Penguin Books (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1994.
Under the Knife, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.
The Prosperous Thief, Allen & Unwin (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2002.
Contributor of essays to books, including Best Australian Essays, 2004. Also contributor of essays to periodicals, including Australian Book Review; contributor of articles to newspapers.
SIDELIGHTS: Before beginning her writing career in the 1980s, Australian novelist Andrea Goldsmith was a speech pathologist who worked with children with communication disabilities. Goldsmith's fourth novel, Under the Knife, is a modern tragedy. In the story, Alexander Otto is an eminent gastroenterologist who becomes obsessed with his biographer, Edwina Frye. The official biography is straightforward, but Edwina also writes a parallel fiction biography, which reveals the faults of Alexander's seemingly perfect life. When Alexander believes his long-buried transgressions have been discovered, his life unravels in a murky exploration of failure and regret. Reviewers praised the novel. Indeed, Wendy Cavenett, in a review posted on the i Magazine Web site, wrote, "Under the Knife is a riveting experience…. Goldsmith mainlines discomfort as naturally as breathing and what she creates is truly unforgettable."
A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that Goldsmith's next book, The Prosperous Thief, "has undeniable power." The novel opens in the mean streets of 1910 Berlin with the birth of Heinrik Heck. Heinrik's impoverished circumstances and dismal future are in sharp contrast with those of the Lewins, a secular Jewish family living near Düsseldorf. However, everything changes once Hitler comes to power. Outside the Belsen concentration camp at the end of the war, the fates of both families are cemented together in an act with far-reaching repercussions. Later, the descendents of both families, each of which has dealt with their legacy from the past in different ways, confront each other. A Kirkus Reviews critic described The Prosperous Thief as "compulsively readable, almost hypnotic in its ability to draw the reader in."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of The Prosperous Thief, p. 994.
People, November 28, 2005, Natalie Danford, review of The Prosperous Thief, p. 67.
Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2005, review of The Prosperous Thief, p. 63.
Allen & Unwin Web site, http://www.allenandunwin.com/ (January 4, 2006), interview with Andrea Goldsmith.
Compulsive Reader, http://www.compulsivereader.com/ (January 4, 2006), Magdalena Ball, review of The Prosperous Thief, and "Interview with Andrea Goldsmith."
i Magazine, http://www.thei.aust.com/ (April 17, 2006), Wendy Cavenett, review of Under the Knife.