Similarities between at Shindler's and Closer.
The first two stories by David Malouf in the book of short stories "Dream Stuff", even though completely discrete and creative in their own right, share several similarities. Malouf has said that many of the stories Dream Stuff were begun as long as fifteen years ago, and several draw on the same imaginative landscape as his novels. Closer and At Shindler's both feature children and tell a story as seen through a pair of ingenuous eyes. Equally they discuss the absence of an adult male. Both stories are linked very closely to family and mutually evoke sympathy for the children. .
Closer and At Shindler's tell stories about children. The story as seen through the eyes of the child, adds a contrasting dimension to Malouf's writing. This is, the bridge between the things that the reader knows is going on, due to the description from the child and what the reader thinks is going on. For example, in At Shindler's, Jack is unsure of the dynamics of the relationship between his mother and Milt, or any of the other escorts. There is no way that Jack at such a young age could understand the complex emotions his mother would have been experiencing due to the loss of his father, however, these emotions are still made apparent to the reader even though there is a lack of descriptive narration. This also adds an element of reality, the children allow Malouf's to present both positive and negative experience in the same light. These stories are able to simply exist without emphasis on either side. The facts are simply presented as they might be remembered by anyone, in this case, the children. .
The theme of family is weaved very strongly into both stories, in fact it would probably be impossible for the stories to exist without such a strong connection to family. This is a wonderfully Australian trait. The culture gap between Amy's strict Pentecostal family and Jack and his mother is not only observable, however one of the only places in the world where you might find the two families living in the same street, would be in Australia.