The Celestials


Out of stock

Book Information

Release date 10-2023
Format Hardback
Pages 238
ISBN 9781922952806
ISBN10 192295280X
Width (mm) 133 mm
Length (mm) 203 mm

SKU: 885 Categories: , ,


Outcasts, Outlaws and Why Ned Kelly Yearned for China

This story begins in Guangzhou China with the commencement of the Second Opium war. After the British bombardment of their home and city, two teenagers, a brother and younger sister, are sent by their parents to Tsin Chin Shan, the New Gold Mountain, in the colony of Victoria. As Chinese, the siblings and their compatriots are outsiders in the goldfields. They are on the margins of colonial society, as are the poor Irish settlers with whom they find they have interests in common. Their interaction with the notorious Kelly Gang becomes a dangerous political alliance …

‘The Celestials is a marvel – radical and contemplative, adventurous and moving.’ Barry Hill, poet and historian

‘The Celestials is profound meditation on the quality of human pilgrimage through the landscapes of China and Australia. An epic and rich narrative. Vitality, power, pathos and keenly humane observation, resonances which touch and elucidate the world of contemporary Australia.’ Richard Mills AM, composer and Artistic Director, Victorian Opera

‘The Celestials is a love song to this country. As a Eurasian woman I was deeply moved.’ Vanessa Maria Bates, playwright

‘Writing of heart-felt delicacy miraculously turns one of Australia’s best-known episodes on its head with radical reimagining, yet drawn from intriguing research of the historical record. The Celestials is a revelation in its stillness as it recounts well-known events of outrageous violence and rebellion.’ Jonathan Mills, composer and director of festivals in Edinburgh and Melbourne


Additional information

Weight 1 kg



203 mm x 133 mm

Author information

Ian David Roberts

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