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In Certain Circles by Elizabeth Harrower at Abbey's Bookshop,

In Certain Circles

Elizabeth Harrower


Text Publishing Company

Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)


256 pages

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Zoe Howard is seventeen when her brother, Russell, introduces her to Stephen Quayle. Aloof and harsh, Stephen is unlike anyone she has ever met, 'a weird, irascible character out of some dense Russian novel'. His sister, Anna, is shy and thoughtful, 'a little orphan'.

Zoe and Russell, Stephen and Anna: they may come from different social worlds but all four will spend their lives moving in and out of each other's shadow.

Set amid the lush gardens and grand stone houses that line the north side of Sydney Harbour, In Certain Circles is an intense psychological drama about family and love, tyranny and freedom.

By:   Elizabeth Harrower
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   381g
ISBN:   9781922182296
ISBN 10:   192218229X
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   April 2014
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

'Harrower can pierce your heart.' Michael Dirda, Washington Post 'A scandalously overlooked writer.' Michelle de Kretser 'A coup...weirdly thrilling line by line...[its] dense and adult conversation crackles with a sense of moral urgency.' -- Delia Falconer Australian 'Utterly hypnotic.' Eimear McBride, Irish Times 'She is brilliant on power, isolation and class.' Ramona Koval, Australian 'Her insights into the nature of love, the role of women and the torsions of power in even the most ordinary relationship are bitter and sometimes cruel, wielded in the way that acute honesty may be, like a whip. Yet they are always delivered via the honeyed dipper of her prose.' -- Geordie Williamson Monthly 'A novel of astonishing psychological insight exploring the darker aspects of human attraction.' Saturday Paper 'An exploration of the psychologies of entitlement and deprivation in the context of love.' Book of the Week Adelaide Advertiser 'In Certain Circles is subtle yet wounding, and very much alive.' Guardian 'There are many wonderful things in this novel. Harrower's skill in evoking a place is impressive. Her eye for oddities of behaviour, for quirks of character and for patches of pretentiousness is as sure as ever. The wry intelligence of her view of middle-class Australian life is evident throughout. Her writing is characteristically sharp and pithy. Whatever the reason behind her decision not to allow this novel to be released four decades ago, its rebirth is an event to be celebrated.' -- Andrew Reimer SMH/Age/Canberra Times 'Exceptional' West Australian 'With its flavor of Henry James, Harrower's rediscovered story is an odd, brittle yet impressive piece of work that exposes the complex passions beneath a drawing-room-scenario surface.' Kirkus Reviews

  • Long-listed for Kibble Literary Award 2015.
  • Long-listed for Miles Franklin Literary Award 2015.
  • Short-listed for Colin Roderick Literary Award 2015 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2015 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction 2015 (Australia)
  • Shortlisted for NSW Premier's Literary Award 2015.
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