The Yellow Banana
on Nov. 10, 2011
As a Melbourne writer interested in the experience of trans-continental journeys and the challenges of adaptions to new cultures, I found 'The Yellow Banana' to be a self-indulgent, unbalanced narrative, removed of the complexities of families and relationships that are essential when presenting realism and truth within a story.
Whilst the narrative begins with the charming voice of a young male entering an Australian city and appears to present an intriguing adventure into a new country, it soon spirals into what appears to be a bitter tale of divorce and an inability for the narrator to both realise and admit his shortcomings during the years as a married couple. Instead we are presented with the issues concerning Nelly, the young wife and the baffled husband who is unable to come to terms with her unhappiness.
The appeal of the recent fictional best-seller, 'The Slap' by Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas is that it presents a range of characters' points of view that spring from a diverse cultural background and range of experiences of men and women in relationships. The reader is then allowed to create their own moral code in response to the tension created by the central event.
As a contrast, 'The Yellow Banana' lacks the depth and complexity of human behaviour that is so essential for effective story-telling.
“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper” – Ursula K. Le Guin
Amy James - Melbourne Freelance Writer