In good faith? Self harm in "The Jesus Man" and "The Glade within the Grove"
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In 1996 David Foster published his eleventh novel, The Glade within the Grove, which subsequently won Australia's most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin Prize. A year later he published a companion volume, the poem The Ballad of Erinungarah, the novel ostensibly having been a commentary on this Ballad (notwithstanding its earlier publication). Since the appearance ofhis first novel in 1974, The Pure Land, Foster has the reputation ofbeing a decidedly "literary" writer!. Three years later, in 1999, Christos Tsiolkas published The Jesus Man, a follow-up to his highly successful debut novel Loaded (1995). The hostility with which reviewers greeted this aggressively sexualised and violent novel contrasts with the acclaim accorded The Glade within the Grove, and the widespread approval which has greeted Tsiolkas's most recent novels Dead Europe (2005) and, in particular, The Slap (2008), the latter winning the Commonwealth Writers Prize.