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Text Publishing Company
05 May 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Winner of Margaret Scott Prize, Premier's Literary Awards 2019 (Australia)
Long-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2019
Short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction 2019 (Australia)
Short-listed for MUD Literary Club, Adelaide Writers' Week 2019 (Australia)
Short-listed for Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2019 (UK)

A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte-who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle.

Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, spellbinding in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction.
By:   Robbie Arnott
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   194g
ISBN:   9781922268211
ISBN 10:   1922268216
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   05 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robbie Arnott was born in Launceston in 1989. His writing has appeared in Island, the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and the 2017 anthology Seven Stories. He won the 2015 Tasmanian Young Writers' Fellowship and the 2014 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. Robbie lives in Hobart and is an advertising copywriter.

Reviews for Flames

'An engrossing narrative of mystery and escape that treats the reader to bravura runs of writing, especially around the elements of water and fire...You never quite know which direction the story will take off in as it creates a new kind of fairytale for our fire-prone landscape.' -- Judges' report * Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist 2019 * 'Delightful. He jumps playfully between different writing styles in every chapter...[An] enchanting story that also captures something very real about Tasmanian life.' * Guardian * 'Flames is brilliant...Enjoy it for its prose poetry, its vivid imagery, its brilliant turns of phrase on nearly every page.' * NZ Listener * 'Highly innovative...[A] finely built and realised first novel.' * Otago Daily Times * 'It's not hard to see where the hype came from. This is an assured, funny and highly imaginative work. Flames is strange from the first, arresting sentence.' * Stuff NZ * '[A] novel you will want to read more than once, not so much to plumb its depths as to savour its wild variety of styles and voices, to revel in its breathtaking descriptions of Tasmanian wilderness and to grasp its intricate structure...There is no doubt that a poetically wild and wicked imagination is at work here. More please!' * SA Weekend * 'Unique and memorable...Extraordinary energy...A rich and memorable picture with prose of an exceptionally high quality. You won't read another Australian literary novel like this anytime soon.' * Kill Your Darlings * 'A gloriously audacious book. It runs astonishing risks and takes on the biggest emotions...It bowled me sideways.' * New Zealand Herald * 'This is a startlingly good first novel, stylistically adventurous, gorgeous in its descriptions and with a compelling narrative that should find a wide readership.' * Australian * 'Arnott confidently borrows from the genres of crime fiction, thriller, romance, comedy, eco-literature, and magical realism, throws them in the air, and lets the pieces land to form a flaming new world.' * Sydney Morning Herald * 'A surprising story with a definite feminist edge...the novel's playfulness and poetry make for a fresh and entertaining read.' * Saturday Paper * 'This is the kind of book that you'll be able to read a second, third, even fourth time, and it will still never reveal all its secrets. Composed with meticulous attention to detail, and a mastery of form rarely found in a debut novel, Flames will keep you stewing long after you've finished reading it.' * Readings * 'Flames is an exuberantly creative and confident debut. This is a story that sparks with invention...Invigorating, strange and occasionally brutal.' * Australian Book Review * 'Arnott skilfully switches between different voices and genres in a trick reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. The range he displays is impressive, swinging from fable to gothic horror to hardboiled detective story.' * Books+Publishing * 'Visionary, vivid, full of audacious transformations: there's a marvellous energy to this writing that returns the world to us aflame. A brilliant and wholly original debut.' -- Gail Jones 'Robbie Arnott is a vivid and bold new voice in Australian fiction.' -- Danielle Wood 'Ambitious storytelling from a stunning new Australian voice. Flames is constantly surprising-I never knew where the story would take me next. This book has a lovely sense of wonder for the world. It's brimming with heart and compassion.' -- Rohan Wilson 'A strange and joyous marvel.' -- Richard Flanagan

  • Short-listed for Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2019 (UK)
  • Short-listed for MUD Literary Club, Adelaide Writers' Week 2019 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction 2019 (Australia)
  • Winner of Margaret Scott Prize, Premier's Literary Awards 2019 (Australia)
  • Winner of Margaret Scott Prize, Tasmanian Premier's Literary Awards 2019 (Australia)

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