Shell

Shell

A big, bold and hauntingly beautiful story that captures a defining moment in Australia's history.

Everywhere he looked he saw what Utzon saw. The drama of harbour and horizon, and at night, the star-clotted sky. It held the shape of the possible, of a promise made and waiting to be kept …

In 1965 as Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s striking vision for the Sydney Opera House transforms the skyline and unleashes a storm of controversy, the shadow of the Vietnam War and a deadly lottery threaten to tear the country apart.

Journalist Pearl Keogh, exiled to the women’s pages after being photographed at an anti-war protest, is desperate to find her two missing brothers and save them from the draft. Axel Lindquist, a visionary young glass artist from Sweden, is obsessed with creating a unique work that will do justice to Utzon’s towering masterpiece. 

In this big, bold and hauntingly beautiful portrait of art and life, Shell captures a world on the brink of seismic change though the eyes of two unforgettable characters caught in the eye of the storm.

And reminds us why taking a side matters.

‘A beautifully crafted novel about a fascinating time in our history. There is a luminous precision in every sentence.’ Heather Rose, award-winning author of The Museum of Modern Love

‘Shell
 is a brilliant and beautiful novel, full of lyrical grace and sensitive observation. There’s a special joy in its attention to creativity, family love and the complex dignity of labour. And at its centre: the Sydney Opera House; not simply an icon, but reimagined as art object, aspiration, and a kind of international dream …Gail Jones, award-winning author of Five Bells and The Death of Noah Glass

Shell sanctifies the greatest of our ideas and being, from love, courage and betrayal to creation and dissent … It’s the kind of book that opens out its readers, making them think and feel. It’s the kind of book I’ll carry with me for all time’ Ashley Hay

‘This narrative of war and hope, the old and the new world, makes Shell a novel of energy and enlightenment, and, to boot, a source of delightful reading.Tom Keneally 
  • Simon & Schuster Australia | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781925685329 | 
  • October 2018
List Price
AU$ 35.00
NZ$ 39.99

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About the Author

Kristina Olsson
Photograph by Amelia J. Dowd

Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson is a journalist and the award-winning author of the novels Shell, In One Skin, and The China Garden, and two works of nonfiction, Boy, Lost: A Family Memoir and Kilroy was Here. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

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