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Knopf HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99
Australian Fiction ADA Kaz Cooke
Inspired by photos of real 1890s vaudevillians, Kaz Cooke has written a novel evoking the world of cunning clairvoyants and trained cockatoos; of fierce loyalties and mixed lollies; of the glamour of the stage and the muck of the road. Researched while undertaking a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria and clearly the result of extensive research in that marvellous institution’s collections, Cooke’s tale of the life of Ada Delroy and her famous vaudeville troupe will charm and entertain readers just as the troupe enchanted the royalty, miners and larrikins who flocked to see them perform their famous illusions, dances and comedic routines.
FIRST PERSON Richard Flanagan
In his latest book, Richard Flanagan flexes his literary prowess to create an ambitious work that blends fiction and non-fiction, reality and fantasy. When failing author Kif Kehlmann is offered the job of ghostwriting the memoirs of notorious con man Siegfried Heidl, he accepts with some misgivings. What follows is a strange and mordantly funny tale that unsettles and entertains the reader in equal parts. Flanagan raises questions of truth and power as he unpacks the evolving and increasingly sinister relationship between writer and subject. Inspired by events in Flanagan’s own life, First Person is a more slippery and challenging read than the author’s 2014 Man Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, but is no less compelling for it.
MRS M Luke Slattery
HarperCollins PB $29.99
Journalist Luke Slattery is back with another book of historical fiction delving into subjects of eternal fascination for him – former Governor of Australia Lachlan Macquarie, his wife Elizabeth Macquarie and the chief convict architect of their regime, Francis Greenway. Slattery’s first foray into the revolutionary aspects of Macquarie’s colonialera reign occurred in The First Dismissal, a Penguin Special essay at 165 pages. Within this longer-form work, he largely plays within the confines of historical records, while allowing his characters a redemption that wasn’t available to them in real life. And by placing the voice of Elizabeth Macquarie centre-stage, Slattery elevates the voice of a woman whose recollections provide insights into a pivotal time in the conception of Australia’s nationhood and identity.
ATLANTIC BLACK AS Patri´c
Transit Lounge PB $29.99
In this follow-up to his Miles Franklin– winning novel Black Rock White City, AS Patri´c has crafted another engrossing story about intergenerational violence and trauma. Set in 1938, on the cusp of WW2 and aboard the ocean liner RMS Aquitania, the story follows Katerina, a teenage girl. Katerina’s mother suffers a psychotic breakdown at the start of the novel, leaving her daughter suddenly and unexpectedly alone for the first time in her life. The brilliance of this book lies in its atmosphere; we really feel the claustrophobia and headiness that comes with the confines of the setting. In addition, all the action takes place over just one night and a day, a tight time span that creates a blistering momentum in the narrative.
DANCING HOME Paul Collis
UQP PB $29.95
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1. What is kutjera?
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THE LIFE TO COME Michelle de Kretser
Winning the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award for Questions of Travel cemented Michelle de Kretser’s reputation as one of Australia’s most important novelists. Her latest work, The Life to Come, follows mediocre author Pippa through Australian share houses, a Paris writing residency and a lacklustre Sydney marriage. Through the narrative, de Kretser turns her sharp eye onto literary culture in an unflinching examination of art and creativity, and returns Allen & Unwin PB to her favoured themes of travel, identity WAS $32.99 and racism. Her trademark witty and acerbic NOW $29.99 judgement lands on people and relationships.
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Hamish Hamilton HB WAS $39.99 NOW $32.99
A LONG WAY FROM HOME Peter Carey
Suspended schoolteacher (‘chalk and talker’) and Bacchus Marsh resident Willie Bachuber is smitten when the diminutive yet perfect couple, Mr and Mrs Titch Bobbs, move next door. Titch has one desire – to own the Ford franchise for Bacchus Marsh – but Mrs Bobs knows the future is with Holden (ironic given Holden has no future in this country now). She swings the deal and the couple decide to launch their new venture by entering the famous round-Australia endurance race, the Redex Trial. The Bobs will drive, and Willie is co-opted to navigate. And so this odd trio embark on a wild ride around the country, where they encounter, among other things, Willie’s past and Australia’s future. Carey’s use of language and vernacular shine, making A Long Way from Home an immensely enjoyable read.
A SEA-CHASE Roger McDonald
THE PASSAGE OF LOVE Alex Miller
In 2013, Alex Miller went on record saying that Coal Creek would be his last novel. Fortunately, he has reconsidered. The Passage of Love is the two-time Miles Franklin Award–winner’s fictionalised retelling of his marriage to artist Anne Neil and his struggle to fulfil his vocation as a writer. The mammoth novel oscillates between a present-day first-person voice and a more detached third-person narrative where Miller is transposed to page as Allen & Unwin PB the thoughtful and intense Robert Crofts. Set in the decades after WW2, the novel WAS $32.99 tackles big subjects including race, class, NOW $29.99 Indigenous rights and post-traumatic stress.
The winner of the 2016 David Unaipon Award for unpublished Indigenous writers, Dancing Home is an intensely personal story that nonetheless explores wider themes of racism and tolerance. Blackie and Rips, fresh out of prison, begin a harrowing journey of revenge against a bent copper. Drugs, violence and dancing all feature in the immersive and tightly plotted narrative, which unfolds as they and their mate Carlos embark on a road trip across Wiradjuri country in backcountry NSW. Collis’s writing is particularly strong when writing about how Blackie’s desire for vengeance conflicts with his deep-rooted need to reconnect with his country and his ancestors. Part road-movie, part ‘Koori-noir’, the publication of this novel heralds a strong new voice in Aussie fiction.
Vintage PB $32.99
Growing up in inland Australia, Judy, a young teacher, has rarely seen the sea. But when she flees a rioting classroom one dismal Friday, she gets drunk and wakes up on a boat. Overnight, her life changes; she is in love with being on the water and in love with Wes Bannister, who lives on the boat. Judy believes that the one trusted continuation of herself is with Wes, and always will be, but then events at sea challenge their closeness. Must they become competitors in the push to be equals? In A Sea-Chase, McDonald delivers a novel about ambition, self-realisation and lasting love set on the beautiful and ferocious sea.
Literary Award Winners BETWEEN A WOLF AND A DOG
THE LOST PAGES
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN LOVE
Georgia Blain Scribe PB $29.99 Blain’s remarkable novel about love, forgiveness and loss won a 2016 Queensland Literary Award and a 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.
Marija Periˆci´cć Allen & Unwin PB $29.99 Cleverly imagined and structured, this novel about friendship, fraud and betrayal won the 2017 Australian/ Vogel’s Literary Award.
Josephine Wilson UWA Press PB $29.99 The 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award was won by this compassionate and intelligent novel by Western Australian writer, Josephine Wilson.
Heather Rose Allen & Unwin PB $27.99 Inspired by the work of Marina Abramovi´c and set in New York, this novel about the nature of art, life and love was awarded the 2017 Stella Prize.
A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR
LINCOLN IN THE BARDO
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
David Grossman Vintage PB $22.99 This heartbreaking, visceral novel was awarded the 2017 International Man Booker Prize.
Naomi Alderman Penguin PB $19.99 This science-fiction thriller about teenage girls developing the ability to kill with a single electrical touch won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
George Saunders Bloomsbury PB $29.99 Inventive and moving, Saunders’ novel about Abraham Lincoln dealing with the death of his 11-year-old son Willie won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
Colson Whitehead Fleet PB $19.99 Awarded both the 2016 National Book Award and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Whitehead’s novel melds realism and allegory to deliver a powerful American tale.
Published on Nov 9, 2017