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Australian Fiction

Losing it

Losing it

Moira Burke

$22.99
In the 1980s in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner, Josie's father is drinking himself to an ugly and appalling death. Josie's mother is a factory machinist, bringing home piecework to keep the family afloat. And Josie is surviving, or not-self-destructive sex, excessive alcohol, drugs, brutalised friendships. But her internal monologue-intense, immediate and raw-reveals a heartbreaking portrait of an intelligent young woman desperately looking for a way to make sense of her life, grappling with her feelings of repulsion and love for her father and her longing to be loved. First published in 1998, Losing It is a vivid and visceral account of 1980s working-class Melbourne and a coming-of-age story that is both familiar and unique, shocking and intimate.
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No More Boats

No More Boats

Felicity Castagna

$26.95
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New novel by Felicity Castagna, whose previous book, The Incredible Here and Now, won the 2015 Prime Ministers Award for Young Adult Fiction and was shortlisted for the CBCA and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

The subject is very topical. No More Boats tackles the fear of refugees head on, portraying the anxieties of a man who was once a migrant himself, brought to breaking point by the Tampa crisis, when the nation itself is thrown into a xenophobic frame of mind.

It is 2001. 438 refugees sit in a boat called Tampa off the shoreline of Australia while the TV and radio scream out that the country is being flooded, inundated, overrun by migrants. Antonio Martone, once a migrant himself, has been forced to retire, his wife has moved in with the woman next door, his daughter runs off with strange men, his deadbeat son is hiding in the garden smoking marijuana.

Amidst his growing paranoia, the ghost of his dead friend shows up and commands him to paint ‘No More Boats’ in giant letters across his front yard. The Prime Minister of Australia keeps telling Antonio that we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstance in which they come, but Antonio’s not sure he wants to think about all those things that led him to get on a boat and come to Australia in the first place. A man and a nation unravel together.
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This Water: Five Tales

This Water: Five Tales

Beverley Farmer

$26.95
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This is likely to be the last work by Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing, in her exploration of feminine concerns, and her use of different literary forms – novel, short story, poetry, essay, journal, myth and fairy tale.

This Water is a collection of five tales, three of them novella length, each a fragmentary love story with a nameless woman at the centre, and a mythic dimension (Greek or Celtic, folklore or fable) rooted in the power of nature. Water and stone, ice and fire, light and darkness play an important role in all the stories, as do other motifs, closely related to women’s experience, blood, birth, possession and release, marriage and singularity.

One tale, set on the south coast of Victoria, is animated by the legend of the Great Silkie, following Sylvia Plath and Joan Baez; another finds its rebellious princess in Lake Annaghmakerrig in Ireland; a third has Clytemnestra as its central figure, mourning the daughter sacrificed by her husband Agamemnon so that he can go to war with Troy. The stories contain and reflect and shadow one other: in each the women speak, act, think for themselves, in opposing or escaping from situations ordained by authority.

Beverley Farmer is the author of three collections of short stories, including Milk , which won the NSW Premier’s Award for Fiction,the writer’s notebook A Body of Water , and two novels The Seal Woman and The House in the Light, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her most recent book, The Bone House, a collection of three long essays on the life of the body and the life of the mind, was published by Giramondo in 2005.
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To Become a Whale

To Become a Whale

Ben Hobson

$29.99
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The story of a young boy who has recently lost his mother, trying to make sense of the world of men and then embarking on a breathtaking adventure of his own - a stunning literary debut in the tradition of Favel Parrett's Past the Shallows and Tim Winton's An Open Swimmer.   

To Become a Whale tells the story of 13-year-old Sam Keogh, whose mother has died. Sam has to learn how to live with his silent, hitherto absent father, who decides to make a man out of his son by taking him to work at Tangalooma, then the largest whaling station in the southern hemisphere. What follows is the devastatingly beautiful story of a gentle boy trying to make sense of the terrible reality of whaling and the cruelty and alienation of his new world, the world of men.

Set around Moreton Island and Noosa in 1961, To Become a Whale is an extraordinarily vivid and haunting novel that reads like an instant classic of Australian literature. There are echoes of Craig Silvey, Favel Parrett, Tim Winton and Randolph Stow in this moving, transformative and very Australian novel.
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Ache

Ache

Eliza Henry-Jones

$29.99
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A year ago, a devastating bushfire ripped Annie's world apart - killing her grandmother, traumatising her young daughter and leaving her mother's home in the mountains half destroyed. Annie fled back to the city, but the mountain continues to haunt her. Now, drawn by a call for help from her uncle, she's going back to the place she loves most in the world to try to heal herself, her marriage, her daughter and her mother.

A heart-wrenching, tender and lovely novel about loss, grief and regeneration, Ache is not only a story of how we can be broken, but how we can put ourselves back together.

Eliza Henry-Jones' remarkable debut novel, In the Quiet, was shortlisted for the 2015 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Award and longlisted for the ABIA and Indie Awards.
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Gravity Well

Gravity Well

Melanie Joosten

$29.99
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Lotte is an astronomer who spends her nights peering into deep space rather than looking too closely at herself. When she returns to her hometown after years in South America, reeling from a devastating diagnosis, she finds that much has changed. Lotte's father has remarried, and she feels like an outsider in the house she grew up in. She's estranged from her former best friend, Eve, who is busy with her own life, and unsure of how to recover the closeness they once shared. Initially, Lotte's return causes disharmony, but then it is the catalyst for a much more devastating event - an event that will change Lotte and Eve's lives forever. If families are like solar systems - bodies that orbit in time with one another, sometimes close and sometimes far away - what is the force that drives them? And what are the consequences when the weight of one planet tugs others off course? The long-awaited second novel from the award-winning Melanie Joosten, Gravity Well is a striking and tender tale of friendship and family- both the family we are born to, and the family we choose. Deeply compassionate and profoundly moving, it is a heartrending portrait of how we rebuild when the worst has happened.
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Some Tests

Some Tests

Wayne Macauley

$29.99
It begins with the normally healthy Beth-aged-care worker, wife of David, mother of Lettie and Gem-feeling vaguely off-colour. A locum sends her to Dr Yi for some tests. 'There are a few things here that aren't quite right,' says Dr Yi, 'and sometimes it is these little wrongnesses that can lead us to the bigger wrongs that matter.' Beth is sent on to Dr Twoomey for more tests. Then to another specialist, and another...Referral after referral sees her bumped from suburb to suburb, bewildered, joining busloads of people all clutching white envelopes and hoping for answers. But what is actually wrong with Beth-is anything, in fact, wrong with her? And what strange forces are at work in the system? As the novel reaches its stunning climax, we realise how strange these forces are. Unnerving and brilliant, Some Tests is about waking up one morning and finding your ordinary life changed forever.
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Year of the Orphan

Year of the Orphan

Daniel Findlay

$32.99
‘There were a heat. Air hotter’n blud. She felt it bakin her skin as she moved. There weren't nothin certain but one thing - the Reckoner were coming.’

Outback Australia. Hundreds of years from now. After the end. A girl races across the desert pursued by the reckoner, scavenged spoils held close. In a blasted landscape of abandoned mines and the crumbling bones of civilisation, she survives by picking over the dead past. She trades her scraps at the only known settlement, a ramshackle fortress of greed, corruption and disease. An outpost whose only purpose is survival – refuge from the creatures that hunt beyond.

Sold then raised hard in the System, the Orphan has a mission, carries secrets about the destruction that brought the world to its knees. And she's about to discover that the past still holds power over the present.

Given an impossible choice, will the Orphan save the only home she knows or see it returned to dust? Both paths lead to blood, but whose will be spilled?

In a post-apocalyptic future, survivors scavenge in the harsh Australian outback. Living rough in the remnants of our ruined world, an orphan with her own brutal past must decide if what’s left of humanity is worth saving.
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Blue Skies: Text Classics

Blue Skies: Text Classics

Helen Hodgman

$12.95
In Helen Hodgman's dazzlingly written debut a young woman is trapped in a small city on an island at the end of the world-by motherhood and an absent husband, by busybody in-laws and neighbours, by a drab society yet to throw off the shackles of its colonial past. A darkly funny tale of a crack-up in stultifying suburbia, Blue Skies marked the emergence of a unique, acerbic voice in Australian fiction. This edition includes an introduction by the acclaimed Tasmanian author Danielle Wood.
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Castle of Dreams

Castle of Dreams

Elise McCune

$19.99
A ruined castle deep in the rainforest holds a secret that unites three generations of women: two sisters who find themselves in love with the same man as the Second World War rages and, decades later, a young woman determined to uncover the secrets in her grandmother's hidden past.

Growing up together in a mysterious castle in northern Queensland, Rose and Vivien Blake are very close sisters. But during the Second World War their relationship becomes strained when they each fall in love with the same dashing but enigmatic American soldier.

Rose's daughter, Linda, has long sensed a secret in her mother's past, but Rose has always resisted Linda's questions, preferring to focus on the present.

Years later Rose's granddaughter, Stella, also becomes fascinated by the shroud of secrecy surrounding her grandmother's life. Intent on unravelling the truth, she visits the now-ruined castle where Rose and Vivien grew up to see if she can find out more.

Captivating and compelling, Castle of Dreams is about love, secrets, lies - and the perils of delving into the past...
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The Horseman

The Horseman

Charlotte Nash

$19.99
Craig Munroe is the kind of man legends are written about. Escape to the high country in this passionate love story of a young doctor and a legendary horseman whose lives become inextricably linked, by the bestselling author of Ryders Ridge, Charlotte Nash.

It's been eleven years since Dr Peta Woodward, born into a horse-breeding dynasty, fled the family stud in the wake of a deadly tragedy that split her family apart. Carrying wounds that have never truly healed, Peta has focused on helping others. But when an injury during a solo trip through the Australian high country leaves her stranded, the man who comes to her rescue is Craig Munroe, a born and bred high-country horseman, and the kind of man legends are written about.

Stuck in the tiny town of Yarraman Falls while she recovers, Peta is surrounded by prying eyes and heartbreaking reminders of all she has lost. But while she resolves to leave as soon as she can, fate has other ideas...
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Fortune's Son

Fortune's Son

Jennifer Scoullar

$32.99
Can one man's revenge become his redemption?  Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him- brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future appears bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbot. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania's remote highlands. 

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist, Daniel Campbell, and starting a forbidden relationship with Daniel's daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.  With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can't forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences - for the innocent as well as the guilty. 

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian gold and African diamonds, Fortune's Son is an epic story of betrayal, love and one man's struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.
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The Gulf

The Gulf

Anna Spargo-Ryan

$29.99
'He found an egg at the park so he incubated it and this tortoise hatched out.'

Skye's sixteen, and her mum's got yet another new boyfriend. Trouble is, Jason's bad news. Really bad. Now mum's quit her job and they're all moving north to Port Flinders, population nobody.

'That's a Southern Right Whale. They have the largest balls of any animal in the world.'

She'd do anything to keep her ten-year-old brother safe. Things she can't even say out loud. And when Jason gets violent, Skye knows she has to take control. She's got to get Ben out and their mum's useless as. The train home to Adelaide leaves first thing each morning and they both need to be on it. Everything else can wait.

'Ladybirds bleed from their knees when they're stressed.'

The Gulf is an acute, moving and uplifting story from the inimitable, alchemical imagination of Anna Spargo-Ryan.
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Joiner Bay and Other Stories: Margaret River Short Story Competition

Joiner Bay and Other Stories: Margaret River Short Story Competition

Ellen Van Neerven

$24.00
Seventeen stories selected from the sixth annual Margaret River Short Story Competition. A truly national competition, contributors this year come from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

Queenslander Laura Elvery's winning entry, Joiner Bay, is a tender story about running and suicide by a schoolboy in a coastal community.

Second prize was awarded to Melbourne Writer Else Fitzgerald for Sheen, a sparkling science fiction story that asks questions about the crossroads of humanity and progress.
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