Swallow the Air


Tara June Winch

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A kind traveling salesman who visits the housing project where Mum, a young girl, lives with her mother Alice. Alice longs for the beautiful pots and pans he’s peddling but doesn’t have the money to buy them, so she makes payments every month for three years, becoming closer friends with Samuel each time he visits. When he finally delivers the cookware, Samuel brings gifts of food as well, showing his generosity.
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Samuel Character Timeline in Swallow the Air

The timeline below shows where the character Samuel appears in Swallow the Air. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. Cloud Busting
Aboriginal Identity Theme Icon
Displacement Theme Icon
...can’t afford even one of the pots. However, Alice makes a deal with the salesman, Samuel, that she’ll buy the pots and pay him in installments every month. (full context)
Aboriginal Identity Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...in order to save up more money. When he visits every month to collect payments, Samuel brings sweets and chats with the women until after dark. After three years and seven... (full context)
The Power of Memory Theme Icon
Aboriginal Identity Theme Icon
...they owned before she gave them up. May believes that to her grandmother and Mum, “Samuel was much like a cloud buster,” a spot of friendship in her dark life. For... (full context)