The title of this novel, The Lost Dog, is both literal and symbolic. At its outset its protagonist, Tom, takes his dog for a walk in a remote area of the Australian outback. When the rope that he is using as a leash accidentally slips from his grasp, the dog races off into the bush and is lost.
Tom himself, an Australian immigrant of Portuguese, Indian and English extraction, is also a ‘lost dog’ – never wholly at ease in his country of adoption, and obsessed and bewildered by an enigmatic, part-Chinese painter, Nelly, whom he describes as a creature of ‘smoke and mirrors’. An academic, he’s also