The Sound of One Hand Clapping Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Australian author Richard Flanagan set this novel in Tasmania. In 1954 when Sonia Buloh was three years old her mother, Maria, walked out of the place they called home into a blizzard and was never heard of again. Sonia's parents arrived in Australia as refugees after the Second World War. Bojan Buloh, like his fellow New Australians works on a dam which is to provide power for the state. Bojan Buloh drinks too much and works too hard to take care of his daughter. Little Sonia is raised by other families who use her badly. When she is about eight Bojan takes her back to live with him but when he is drunk he beats her. She is sixteen when she leaves for Sydney and does not come back till she is about thirty-eight, unmarried and pregnant. The story runs between these two time frames and the father and daughter, long estranged finally come to an understanding after Sonia's baby is born.
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Chapter Analysis of The Sound of One Hand Clapping

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Australian (mate!) Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Father (or standin) Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   secretary Age:    -   20's-30's


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Australia

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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