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The Breaking

Kathryn Heyman

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Allen & Unwin
04 May 2021
Sarah Sweet is a watcher. She sees the way the smoke rises from the sulphide works to wreath the little Australian town of Boolaroo; she watches Dad, when he's not being a policeman, breaking horses in the back paddock behind the house. Sarah has learnt to observe, to be quiet, to avoid notice, filled with a fury so intense it threatens to overwhelm her.

The Breaking is the story of a family tainted by the force of rage, of a young life haunted by it, but also of the strength it gives to fight back. In its evocation of the parched landscape of rural Australia, the strange cadences of the language and the filmic vividness of its characters, The Breaking is a unique, lyrical testament to the power of the human spirit.

'The Breaking is a book of opposites: rural heat, city rain; male power and female powerlessness; paternal tenderness and a lover's violence; silences and singing. This strong first novel is remarkable for its depiction of a family drama played out in an arid small town, with the local lock-up in the backyard, and Sarah Sweet's slow education in love and change, courtesy of a glowing, nail-biting taxi driver. Scottish Writer of the Year Judging Committee 'Powerful and accomplished ... Heyman reveals her pedigree as a playwright and poet in stunning language and original imagery ... profoundly moving.' The Scotsman 'Haunting ... compelling ... the magnetism of a violent man is made palpable.' The Times 'Fizzes with childhood energy, frustration and hilarity... Heyman's words and style leap at you with real punch.' Scotsman Weekend 'Astounding ... a writer of immense promise.' Sunday Tribune 'A pleasure ... this is a novel which never betrays its promise. The rawness of the emotion and the beauty of its conveyance into words is a potent combination which will not easily be forgotten.' Australian Book Review 'Gripping ... Heyman's poetic style adds an extra dimension to this gripping tale.' Belfast Telegraph
By:   Kathryn Heyman
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 128mm, 
Weight:   228g
ISBN:   9781760878153
ISBN 10:   1760878154
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   04 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kathryn Heyman is a novelist, essayist and scriptwriter. Her sixth novel, Storm and Grace, was published to critical acclaim in 2017. Her first novel, The Breaking, was shortlisted for the Stakis Prize for the Scottish Writer of the Year and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Other awards include an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate Scholarship and the Southern Arts Award, and nominations for the Edinburgh Fringe Critics' Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier's Book Awards, as well as the 2017 Copyright Agency Author Fellowship for Fury. Kathryn Heyman's several plays for BBC radio include Far Country and Moonlite's Boy, inspired by the life of bushranger Captain Moonlite. Two of her novels have been adapted for BBC radio: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel as a play and Captain Starlight's Apprentice as a five-part dramatic serial. Heyman has held several writing fellowships, including the Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellowship at the University of Glasgow, and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellowship at Westminster College, Oxford. She taught creative writing for the University of Oxford and is now Conjoint Professor in Humanities at the University of Newcastle. In 2011, she founded the Australian Writers Mentoring Program. More information at www.kathrynheyman.com

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