DREAMS OF SPEAKING

Gail Jones

‘She wished to study the unremarked beauty of modern things, of telephones, aeroplanes, computer screens and electric lights, of television, cars and underground transportation. There had to be in the world of mechanical efficiency some mystery of transaction, the summoning of remote meanings, an extra dimension – supernatural, sure. There had to be a lost sublimity, of something once strange, now familiar, tame.’ ‘We must talk, Alice Black, about this world of modern things. This buzzing world.’ Alice is entranced by the aesthetics of technology and, in every aeroplane flight, every Xerox machine, every neon sign, sees the poetry of modernity. Mr Sakamoto, a survivor of the atomic bomb, is an expert on Alexander Graham Bell. Like Alice, he is culturally and geographically displaced. The pair forge an unlikely friendship as Mr Sakamoto regales Alice with stories of twentieth-century invention. His own knowledge begins to inform her writing, and these two solitary beings become a mutual support for each other a long way from home. This novel from prize-winning author Gail Jones is distinguished in its honesty and intelligence. From the boundlessness of space walking to the frustrating constrictions of one person’s daily existence, DREAMS OF SPEAKING paints with grace and skill the experience of needing to belong despite wanting to be alone.

Explore the other winners

Shortlist announced - 21 Apr

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    5% 106 / 2.1k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    1% 41 / 2.1k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 28 / 2.1k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 15 / 2.1k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 16 / 2.1k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 10 / 2.1k
  • Bel Canto
    4% 89 / 2.1k
  • Property
    0% 9 / 2.1k
  • Small Island
    8% 185 / 2.1k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    8% 173 / 2.1k
  • On Beauty
    3% 67 / 2.1k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    20% 433 / 2.1k
  • The Road Home
    2% 54 / 2.1k
  • Home
    2% 49 / 2.1k
  • The Lacuna
    2% 59 / 2.1k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 30 / 2.1k
  • The Song of Achilles
    11% 240 / 2.1k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 26 / 2.1k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    2% 57 / 2.1k
  • How to be Both
    4% 90 / 2.1k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 54 / 2.1k
  • The Power
    4% 105 / 2.1k
  • Home Fire
    6% 130 / 2.1k
  • An American Marriage
    4% 100 / 2.1k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Sign up for the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win a stack of this year's six shortlisted books.

(We will send you occasional emails full of author interviews, extracts and audio, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Please read our privacy policy for more information).