Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive.
With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well.
This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one way and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture - the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way.
Peter Carey has twice won the Booker Prize for his explorations of Australian history. A Long Way from Home is his late-style masterpiece.
An artist marooned on a remote island in the Arafura Sea contemplates his survival chances. He understands his desperate plight and the ocean's unrelenting power. But what is its true colour?
A beguiling young woman nurses a baby by a lake while hiding brutal scars. Uneasy descendants of a cannibal victim visit the Pacific island of their ancestor's murder. A Caribbean cruise of elderly tourists faces life with wicked optimism.
Witty, clever, ever touching and always inventive, the eleven stories in The True Colour of the Sea take us to many varied coasts- whether a tense Christmas holiday apartment overlooking the Indian Ocean or the shabby glamour of a Cuban resort hotel.
Relationships might be frayed, savaged, regretted or celebrated, but here there is always the life-force of the ocean - seducing, threatening, inspiring.
In The True Colour of the Sea, Robert Drewe - Australia's master of the short story form - makes a gift of stories that tackle the big themes of life- love, loss, desire, family, ageing, humanity and the life of art.
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Discovery. Desire. Deception. A wondrously imagined tale of two female botanists, separated by more than a century, in a race to discover a life-saving flower...
In Victorian England, headstrong adventuress Elizabeth takes up her late father's quest for a rare, miraculous plant. She faces a perilous sea voyage, unforeseen dangers and treachery that threatens her entire family.
In present-day Australia, Anna finds a mysterious metal box containing a sketchbook of dazzling watercolours, a photograph inscribed 'Spring 1886' and a small bag of seeds. It sets her on a path far from her safe, carefully ordered life, and on a journey that will force her to face her own demons.
In this spellbinding botanical odyssey of discovery, desire and deception, Kayte Nunn has so exquisitely researched nineteenth-century Cornwall and Chile you can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers, the touch of the flora on your fingertips...
It?s the summer of 1968, and Evelyn Lynden is a woman at war with herself. Minister?s daughter. Atheist. Independent woman. Frustrated wife. Bitch with a bleeding heart.
Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny?s passive ways - and anxious for a saviour.
Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.
Meticulously researched, elegantly written, and utterly engrossing, Beautiful Revolutionary explores the allure of the real-life charismatic leader who would destroy so many. In masterful prose, Woollett painstakingly examines what happens when Evelyn is pulled into Jones?s orbit - an orbit it would prove impossible for her to leave.
'Why do some nights feel as though they were always waiting to happen? Or have already happened and will again? And why don't we know it then? Why is it only afterwards we say, yes, that was when my life turned?'
1965. The great poet, TS Eliot, is dead. Hearing the news, the seventy-two year old Emily Hale points her Ford Roadster towards the port of Gloucester, where a fishing boat will take her out to sea, near the low, treacherous rocks called the Dry Salvages, just off Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Over the course of that day, clutching a satchel of letters, Emily Hale slips between past and present, reliving her life with Eliot - starting with that night in 1913, the moment when her life turned, when the young Tom Eliot and Emily Hale fell deeply in love with each other.
But Tom moved to London to fulfil his destiny as the famous poet 'TS Eliot', and Emily went on to become his muse - the silent figure behind some of the greatest poetry of the 20th century - his friend and his confidante. But never did she become his lover or his wife.
From Steven Carroll, one of our most brilliant, award-winning authors, A New England Affair is the third novel in his acclaimed Eliot Quartet, a companion novel to The Lost Life and A World of Other People. It is a deeply moving, intense and poignant novel of a love that never finds the right moment, and so becomes the ghost of what could have been, of what never quite was, and never quite will be.
Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of bullshit in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger.
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley.
Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.
Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.
'This hypnotic debut novel brilliantly captures the unease of our times.' Jane Caro
'Wildly entertaining and frighteningly plausible.' James Bradley
'A whip smart thriller with big ideas and big heart.' Steven Amsterdam
A pandemic is racing through our world, changing people subtly but irrevocably. The first sign for some is losing their faith. For others it comes as violent outpourings of creativity, reckless driving and seeing visions.
Scientist Charlotte Zinn is close to a cure when her partner becomes infected. Overnight her understanding of the disease is turned upside down. Should she change the path of evolution?
As Australia is torn apart, reporter Brigid Bayliss is determined to uncover the dark truth behind the religious response to the outbreak.
Brigid and Charlotte find themselves on the frontline of a world splintering into far left and far right, with unexpected power to change the course of history. But at what cost? Dark, thrilling and compulsively readable, The Second Cure is a provocative debut novel about control, courage and belief.
It wasn't just one person who went missing, it was two people. Two very different people. They were there, and then they were gone, as if through a crack in the sky. After that, in a small town like Goodwood, where we had what Nan called 'a high density of acquaintanceship', everything stopped. Or at least it felt that way. The normal feeling of things stopped.
Goodwood is a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. It's a place where it's impossible to keep a secret.
In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens. Two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood's most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home.
People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don't just disappear.
As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling.
Rich in character and complexity, its humour both droll and tender, Goodwood is a compelling ride into a small community, torn apart by dark rumours and mystery.
A spine-chilling mystery and contemporary love story, Beneath the Mother Tree plays out in a unique and wild Australian setting, interweaving Indigenous history and Irish mythology.
On a small island, something sinister is at play. Resident alcoholic Grappa believes it’s the Far Dorocha, dark servant of the Faery queen, whose seductive music lures you into their abyss. His granddaughter Ayla has other ideas, especially once she meets the mysterious flute player she heard on the beach.
Riley and his mother have moved to the island to escape their grief. But when the tight-knit community is beset by a series of strange deaths, the enigmatic newcomers quickly garner the ire of the locals. Can Ayla uncover the mystery at the heart of the island’s darkness before it is too late?
Wrought with sensuousness and lyricism, D.M. Cameron’s debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree is a thrilling journey, rhythmically fierce and eagerly awaited.
A property developer fears that a burgeoning ibis population will prevent the construction of a high rise apartment complex; a bus stop outside a dementia care facility in Düsseldorf suffers its own identity crisis; a young man’s new job requires him to pose as a woodcutter and wave at a trainload of tourists; an aging, reclusive archivist becomes locked in a strange battle of wills with a courier; a backpacker in Israel has a bizarre religious experience.
In these award winning stories, David Cohen explores the oddities of human behaviour with wit, affection and startling brilliance.
A genuine and compellingly portrayed family drama of a tough kid from rural Australia.
Before leaving for war in Afghanistan, Shaun Black gives his little brother Trysten a mission of his own. Keep out of trouble.
Trysten tries, but with Mum hitting the bottle harder than ever and his dad not helping, Trysten responds the only way he knows how, with his fists - getting into a fight at school and lining up for another one with his uncle who's come to stay.
When the family receives news that Shaun will be home for Christmas, Trysten is sure that good times are coming. But when Shaun returns, Trysten soon realises he has a whole new mission - to keep Shaun out of trouble.
Hey Brother tells the story of a tough kid from the bush whose world comes crashing down on his shoulders. But with his own blend of fury, resilience and deadpan humour, Trysten proves to be up for every challenge.
A search for belonging in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs turns into a riotous satire of identity politics in this wildly irreverent coming-of-age story.
Inappropriation unpacks and skewers our confused age in the guise of a winning and authentic coming of age story. Only read Lexi Freiman's assured and enormously enjoyable debut novel if you want to discover an incisive new voice full of dark, merciless wit.' Steve Toltz
Starting at a prestigious private Australian girls' school, fifteen-year-old Ziggy Klein is confronted with an alienating social hierarchy that hurls her into the arms of her grade's most radical feminists. Plagued by fantasies of offensive sexual stereotypes and a psychotherapist mother who thinks bum-pinching is fine if it comes from the heart chakra, Ziggy sets off on a journey of self-discovery that moves from the Sydney drag scene to the extremist underbelly of the internet to the coastal bohemia of a long-dissolved matriarchal cult.
As PC culture collides with her friends' morphing ideology and her parents' kinky sex life, Ziggy's understanding of gender, race, and class begins to warp. Ostracised at school, she seeks refuge in Donna Haraway's seminal feminist text, A Cyborg Manifesto, and discovers an indisputable alternative identity. Or so she thinks. A controversial Indian guru, a mean clique of blondes all called Cate, and her own Holocaust-surviving grandmother propel Ziggy through a series of misidentifications, culminating in a date-rape revenge plot so confused, it just might work.
Leonora - back to Jeanie's roots and family. Matthew's father, Archie, is dying and he spends three weeks out of four caring for him in The Wounded Sinner , his grand, decaying family home. Whilst Matthew is away, Jeanie stays and works as a teacher and looks after their five children. Their eldest, Jaylene, is hitting adolescence and is challenging Jeanie's self-image and burgeoning sense of identity.
On a hot desolate day in the West Australian hinterland, Matthew's car finally breaks down. Vince, whose own family is falling apart in unanticipated ways, stops to pick him up and, in amongst the chaos of their lives, an unlikely friendship is formed.
In this unforgettable debut, The Wounded Sinner shines a light on growing old, fidelity and identity which run through this unique and gritty novel, in which all are asking the ultimate questions about life, death and the purpose of it all.
Alice McKinley inherits Dunedin, the family's crumbling pastoral estate in Victoria's Western District and soon discovers the sprawling sheep station is on the brink of bankruptcy.
A posthumous gift from her grandmother, Cecily reveals a Pandora's box of riddles, clues and cryptic correspondence, including a journal written by her ancestor, Florence.
Alice is catapulted into a frantic search for something she's not even sure is real - a missing masterpiece, commissioned by her family in the 1870s. It's an heirloom rumoured to be worth millions and would save Dunedin from financial ruin.
As Alice delves deeper into the family archives, she uncovers more than she bargained for - a tangled web of intrigue stretching from the giddy world of colonial squattocracy, the wool boom of the 1950s and the realities facing rural families in the new millennium. Can she save her family's great legacy?
Time is running out...
Filled with tales of hidden love, dark family secrets, and chance encounters, Canvas is a sharply observed and compelling family drama, interwoven across generations and set in the heart of Australia's iconic grazing country...
One of the strangest and most appealing novels you will read this year!
Tom Lee's first novel is about a young jogger who is in a relationship with an older woman. She is both his coach and his mentor. Coach Fitz, as he calls her, seeks to instil a philosophy of running which combines `controlled intensity' with a curiosity about places and their histories. A country boy, he is fascinated by the landscapes of the city beaches and parks through which they travel. And he has his own obsessions - with exercise routines, ancestral legacies, outdoor gyms, horse-racing, weather conditions and inner-city eating habits. Then, suddenly, their relationship falls apart, over the issue of sex - and he becomes a coach and mentor in turn, to a young man this time, as he attempts to orchestrate an ideal expression of his emotional, athletic and intellectual urges.
Coach Fitz is an exploration of the outdoor mentality that plays such a dominant role in the Australian psyche. It is remarkable for its observations about landscape and physical exercise, embedded in the training routines and dialogues of the runners. But most of all it is about the emotions and aspirations of youth, and the complications these engender.
The Biographer’s Lover is a novel about Australia’s complex relationship with memory, and the role gender plays in the ways we represent not only national myths but our private versus our public selves
Why has no-one heard of Edna Cranmer?
When a young woman is hired to write the life of an unknown artist from Geelong, she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own history.
But Edna Cranmer was not a privileged housewife with a paintbrush. Edna’s work spans decades. Her soaring images of red dirt, close interiors and distant jungles have the potential to change the way the nation views itself.
Edna could have been an official war artist. Did she choose to hide herself away? Or were there people who didn’t want her to become famous? As the biographer is pulled into Edna’s life, she is confronted with the fact that how she tells Edna’s past will affect her own future.
This elegant and engrossing novel explores how we value and celebrate art and artists’ lives. The Biographer’s Lover reminds us that all memory is an act of curation.
The page-turning political thriller shortlisted for the 2018 Indie Awards
On the Java Ridge, skipper Isi Natoli and a group of Australian surf tourists are anchored off the Indonesian island of Dana. In the Canberra office of Cassius Calvert, Minister for Border Integrity, a federal election looms and a hardline new policy on asylum-seekers is being rolled out.
Not far from Dana, the Takalar is having engine trouble. Among the passengers on board fleeing from persecution are Roya and her mother, and Roya's unborn sister. The storm now closing in on the Takalar and the Java Ridge will mean catastrophe for them all.
A grieving daughter navigates the morning commute, her mind bursting with memories pleading to be shared.
A man made entirely of well-cut suits and strictly enforced rules swims his regular morning laps and fantasises about his self-assured promotion.
A young lawyer sits in a fluorescent-lit office, typing indecipherable jargon and dreaming of everything she didn't become.
A failed news hack hides under the covers from another looming deadline, and from a past that will not relent its pursuit.
And a young woman seeking asylum sits tensely on an unmoving train, praying that good news waits at the other end of the line...
In this charming, moving and affectionate novel, Claire Varley paints a magical portrait of five ordinary people, and the sometimes heartbreaking power of the stories we make of ourselves.
A gripping psychological drama about family, betrayal and the limits of forgiveness
Adrian Pomeroy teaches English at a boys’ school ‘full of bullshit artists in blazers’. When he finds himself at the centre of an allegation that might end his career, his life starts to unravel in spectacular fashion. With a police investigation underway, Adrian turns to his detective brother for help, but Noel is battling crippling demons of his own.
As the repercussions of this one accusation lead to the implosion of Adrian’s family, he can no longer ignore the secrets buried in his past. The Apology is an explosive and shocking portrait of the lies we tell ourselves and each other in order to survive.