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Rhett Davis



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Hachette Australia
01 March 2022

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This strange and beautiful novel won the 2020 Victorian Premier's Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It blends a mix of narrative techniques - computer messages, split dual interactions, official notices - with the traditional third person, all to great effect. It's set in Fraser (read Melbourne/Geelong) a city that is repositioning itself. Literally. A resident may wake one morning and find their front door has moved. Or the entire house relocated to another part of the city. Roads no longer go where they were meant to. Buildings may be balanced on other buildings. Tourists visit for the thrill of discovery, and the occupants wearily accept and get on with the changes. Into this uncertain place, Alice returns from a long time overseas and lands on her sister Lydia's doorstep. Alice is secretive about her past, but she was part of a collective which launched cutting (and cutting-edge) artworks on unsuspecting cities. Lydia stayed home, dealing with their difficult parents and bringing up her son George whilst holding down a demanding data mining job. She doesn't welcome Alice reappearing in her life, but George, who has secrets of his own and has stopped talking, knows it will bring the spark back to his increasingly stressed mother. A novel full of ideas, of the disconnect in contemporary life from things once considered merely important and that reveal as essential, of secrets held and unleashed - and very beautifully written indeed.  Lindy

The city was in the same place. But was it the same city?

Alice stands outside her family's 1950s red brick veneer, unsure if she should approach. It has been sixteen years, but it's clear she is out of options.

Lydia opens the door to a familiar stranger - thirty-nine, tall, bony, pale. She knows her sister immediately. But something isn't right. Meanwhile her son, George, is upstairs, still refusing to speak, and lost in a virtual world of his own design.

Nothing is as it was, and while the sisters' resentments flare, it seems that the city too is agitated. People wake up to streets that have rearranged themselves, in houses that have moved to different parts of town. Tensions rise and the authorities have no answers. The internet becomes alight with conspiracy theories.

As the world lurches around them, Alice's secret will be revealed, and the ground at their feet will no longer be so firm.

A spectacular debut novel from one of Australia's most exciting new writers. Winner of the Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award, Hovering crosses genres, literary styles and conventions to create a powerful and kaleidoscopic story about three people struggling to find connection in a chaotic and impermanent world.

Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   380g
ISBN:   9780733645624
ISBN 10:   0733645623
Pages:   304
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rhett Davis is from the Wadawurrung country of Geelong and its nearby coastal towns. He has published in places like The Big Issue, Meanjin and The Sleepers Almanac. In 2015, he completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Hovering was written as part of a PhD at Deakin University and won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2020. Rhett has lived in several places but always finds his way back to Geelong, where he lives with his partner and two talkative cats.

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