Iconic Australian novel Looking for Alibrandi turns 25 this year, and the film adaptation was released 17 years ago last week.
Author of the novel Melina Marchetta told Pedestrian TV that if she had written the book now, there would be one major difference.
“With the John Barton thread — gosh, I remember distinctly realising that he was going to die, and it’s just terrible, because in a way as a writer you try to stay in the character’s life, and I just realised that if he had gone up to his father and said ‘This is how I feel, let’s talk about it’, it just would’ve seemed unrealistic,” the author told Pedestrian.
“I always feel torn about [Barton’s death], because I’m not sure if I wrote that book today, I’m not sure I would have written about that suicide. It’s touched my life too much since then, and I just don’t know — I don’t think I could have actually gone down that way because of the people close, in my life, who have been affected by suicide,” Marchetta continued.
“It was never a planned thing, I never thought ‘Okay, I want to write about this girl who meets this boy who doesn’t know what to do and takes his life’. It was a shock. There have been a few shocks in my novels over the years, and that was one of the biggest ones."
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