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Gilgamesh is a rich, spare, and evocative novel of encounters and escapes, of friendship and love, of loss and acceptance, a debut that marks the emergence of a world-class talent. It is 1937. The modern world, they say, is waiting to erupt. On a tiny farm in far southwestern Australia, seventeen-year-old Edith lives with her mother and sister, Frances. One afternoon two men, her English cousin Leopold and his Armenian friend Aram, arrive -- taking the long way home from an archaeological dig in Iraq. Edith is captivated by the tales they tell of strange peoples, magical journeys, and a world far beyond the narrow horizon of her small town of Nunderup. One such story is the epic of Gilgamesh, the ancient Mesopotamian king who adventured throughout the world with his friend the wild man Enkidu, in search of the secret of eternal life. Two years later, in 1939, Edith and her young son, Jim, set off on a journey of their own, to Soviet Armenia, where they are trapped by the outbreak of war. A novel of stunning accomplishment, Gilgamesh examines what happens when we strike out into the world, and how, like the wandering king, we find our way home.