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All the Words We Know

Bruce Nash

$32.99

Paperback

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English
Allen & Unwin
27 February 2024

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rose has dementia, and while she loses words and memories, she doesn't understand how she has mislaid her friend. She isn't in her room at their nursing home. Rose knows she saw her on the ground outside her window looking up at the sky, so why is there a strange man in the room instead of her friend? As she roams about the home, alternating between crafty and confused, small pieces of truth are being revealed - can she put them altogether to work out what is happening? And can she make sense of aspects of her own past that her recall tries and fails to catch? With a cast of well-drawn characters seen through the filter of Rose's idiosyncratic mosaic of memory, this is an insight into the workings of a deteriorating brain, which cannot disguise the vital woman Rose once was and still is... Lindy

'A charming, warm-hearted whodunnit.' The Guardian

In the beginning is the whatsitsname. The woman in the car park. She wears a nightgown and lies on her back, looking up at the sky. The nightgown is white and embroidered at the neck with blue . . . what do you call them? Forget-me-nots. A small crowd is gathered around her. All in their unicorns. Uniforms. All younger than the woman, much younger. They look at each other. They look up at the sky. They look down at the woman. They whisper.

Rose is in her eighties and has dementia, but she's not done with life just yet. Alternately sharp as a tack and spectacularly forgetful, she spends her days roaming the corridors of her aged-care facility, ruminating on the staff and residents and enduring visits from her emotionally distant children and grand-daughters. But when her friend is found dead?after an apparent fall from a window, Rose embarks on an eccentric and deeply personal investigation to discover the truth and exposes all manner of secrets - even some from her own past.

All the Words We Know is a wickedly funny and genuinely moving story about loneliness, language and how we make sense of the world.

'A deeply moving, completely charming novel I will be staring out windows thinking on for a long time.' Tim Rogers

'From a tumble of language, tricks and puns come clues to a murder - and devastating truths about love. All the Words We Know is both unique and daring.' Jock Serong

'Darkly humorous, bewitchingly original, quietly poignant. A stunning accomplishment. The wordplay sparkles, yet it's the humanity that shines through.' Chris Hammer

'A rare, beautiful bird of a novel. All the Words We Know offers readers an immersive experience both playful and profound - I found myself speaking so many of Rose's musings out loud, revelling in their gorgeous rhythms, even as the tension of the central mystery had me racing through the pages. I loved this book!' Jacqueline Bublitz

By:  
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   356g
ISBN:   9781761470363
ISBN 10:   1761470361
Pages:   336
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Bruce Nash was awarded a 2022 Varuna Residential Fellowship for an earlier draft of this manuscript; indeed, he has enjoyed three such fellowships for his work. His previous books?The Long River of Cat Fisher?(2020) and?An Island in the Lake?(2019) were published by Australian Scholarly Publishing. He has been shortlisted for several writing awards and his short fiction has appeared in?Meanjin,?Australian Short Stories?and anthologies.?Bruce is a retired teacher and now lives on the southern New South Wales coast.

Reviews for All the Words We Know

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Rose has dementia, and while she loses words and memories, she doesn't understand how she has mislaid her friend. She isn't in her room at their nursing home. Rose knows she saw her on the ground outside her window looking up at the sky, so why is there a strange man in the room instead of her friend? As she roams about the home, alternating between crafty and confused, small pieces of truth are being revealed - can she put them altogether to work out what is happening? And can she make sense of aspects of her own past that her recall tries and fails to catch? With a cast of well-drawn characters seen through the filter of Rose's idiosyncratic mosaic of memory, this is an insight into the workings of a deteriorating brain, which cannot disguise the vital woman Rose once was and still is... Lindy





'A deeply moving, completely charming novel I will be staring out windows thinking on for a long time.' Tim Rogers 'From a tumble of language, tricks and puns come clues to a murder - and devastating truths about love. All the Words We Know is both unique and daring.' Jock Serong


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