Mortal Divide: The Autobiography of Yiorgos Alexandroglou
George Alexander, illustrated by Peter Lyssiotis


Paperback | Aug 2022 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781922725295 | 160pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$26.95, NZD$32.99

Giramondo is proud to republish George Alexander’s award-winning novel Mortal Divide, one of the great works of fiction on the relationship between migration and identity in Australian literature.

Should be read with Evelyn Juers’ recent Giramondo biography The Dancer: A Biography for Philippa Cullen, in which the author plays a leading role.

A novel which mixes fiction and biography, imagination and memory, Mortal Divide is even more striking now for its literary innovation and inventiveness than when it was first published twenty-five years ago. It focusses on the eponymous narrator George Alexander who, as Yiorgos Alexandroglou, is both the narrator himself under his Greek name, and his grandfather, whose name he carries. Suffering a breakdown in confidence because of the stresses in his marriage, and the failure of his vocation as a writer, he finds himself in Perth where he was raised, then in Port Said where he was conceived, then in Kastellorizo, the tiny Greek island just off the Turkish coast, which was the home of his ancestors. These places and others he has lived in are overlaid, like the figures from his past, his parents and grandparents, his wife and daughters and lovers, his own multiple identities and those he has drawn from films and books. The result is an intricate interweaving of connections, the associations doubling, tripling, proliferating, in proof that ‘elsewhere is inscribed everywhere’.