Published on The Monthly (online), 2018
Simon Baker adapts Tim Winton’s coming-of-age novel for his directorial debut.
When Tim Winton’s latest novel, The Shepherd’s Hut, was released in March, he departed from the traditional book launch with a series of keynotes on the topic of “toxic masculinity”. “Boys and young men are so routinely expected to betray their better natures,” said Winton, “to smother their consciences, to renounce the best of themselves and submit to something low and mean.”
Winton described the culture on the ocean’s swell, where each evening several male generations commune in the lulls between waves. These boys “rehearsing their masculinity” could be any of the suffering surfers who’ve populated the littoral author’s writing since he won the Vogel in 1981. Yet it feels jarring to recast Winton’s melancholic characters in the parlance of contemporary feminism…
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