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Carolyn See[Winton's] produced 11 volumes of novels and short stories, but he lives in western Australia, one of the remotest parts of the world. People don't know about him. They don't know what they're missing…Most coming-of-age novels end on a note of triumph. But Breath is about moving out of your depth, getting in over your head, having your soul damaged beyond repair…But against all this pointless sorrow, there remains the evanescent beauty of the world, and Winton matches that with limitlessly beautiful prose.
—The Washington Post