|Media type||Hardback & Paperback|
|LC Class||PR9619.3.M6 D3 2000|
|Preceded by||Grand Days|
|Followed by||Cold Light|
The novel forms the second part of the author's "Edith Trilogy", following Grand Days that was published in 1993; and preceding Cold Light that was published in 2011. The trilogy is a fictional account of the League of Nations, which trace the strange, convoluted life of a young woman who enters the world of diplomacy in the 1920s; through to her involvement in the newly formed International Atomic Energy Agency after World War II.
A direct sequel to Grand Days and beginning in 1931, the novel traces the private and public lives of an Australian woman Edith Campbell Berry, during her final years as an official of the League of Nations based in Geneva. Berry's crumbling marriage parallels the futility of the League's attempts at negotiated disarmament, though she is reunited with her former lover, a cross-dressing Englishman. Returning on leave to Australia, Berry finds she now has little in common with her homeland, after her years of moving in European diplomatic circles. She remains with the Secretary-General's Office at the half-empty Palais des Nations throughout World War II, while a skeleton Secretariat attempts to continue the peace-time functions of the League. In 1945 Berry accompanies a delegation of senior League officials to San Francisco, in the expectation that they will all have key roles to play in the newly established United Nations. To her humiliation and anger they are excluded from any involvement in the setting up of the new organization. The League itself is dissolved a few months later and Berry moves to Canberra, aspiring to a new career in the Australian Department of External Affairs (Cold Light).
"To Jean-Paul and Monique Delamotte, friends and patrons".
- Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2001: winner
- Howe, Renate (Dec 2001 – Jan 2002). "Oral Sex and the League of Nations: The Genre of Faction in Grand Days and Dark Palace" (ONLINE). Network Review of Books. Perth: Australian Public Intellectual Network. ISSN 1833-0932.
- Porter, Peter (10 March 2002). "How to be good: Dark Palace". The Guardian. London.
|Awards and achievements|
Drylands and Benang
|Miles Franklin Award recipient
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