…in which I invite someone bookish to share one of their all-time favourite works of fiction and what it means to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from publisher Donna Ward:
I remember the day it happened. I was in a bookshop in Elwood called The Grumpy Swimmer. I go there because the owner stocks quirky unusual books you’re unlikely to stumble across in bookshops more dedicated to Australian publications. Don’t get me wrong. As a publisher of books called Australian Love Poems and the forthcoming Australian Love Stories I appreciate booksellers dedicated to Australian literature. It’s just some days I want to stumble across something without an Australian twang to it and on those days I head for The Grumpy Swimmer.
I have no idea why my hand reached out to take this book down from the shelf. It has an unassuming cover and a long title—something publishers tend to avoid.
I opened the first page and read the first line:
‘If you listen, you can hear it.’
Then I read the second line.
‘The city, it sings.’
Then the third:
‘If you stand quietly, at the foot of a garden, in the middle of a street, on the roof of a house.’
…and there I was, unravelling like a skein of wool following each sentence until I was deep into this story and unable to put the book down. I bought it with my thumb in the page where I paused to pay and find a seat and continue reading.
If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things is the first novel of British author Jon McGregor. It was published in 2002. I found it in the summer of 2010 which is another beautiful thing about independent bookshops—out-of-date books linger on the shelves.
In the leather chair by the bookshop door I fell into a story of one event that occurs on one day in one street in one suburb in one city. After the stillest description of a silent city about to wake, the story begins in the moment of an horrific car accident. Then, McGregor slows the action down into a motion gentle enough to tell the stories of everyone living in the street.
There are many remarkable things revealed as the story is told, but none as extraordinary as that uncovered at the end when the remainder of the accident is described. What is clearly an horrific moment is transformed into something soft and transcendent, while not squinting from the finality of that moment. This is a story of how busy lives can distract us from events, facts and slight happenings we should take note of, tell others about and write of, lest we forget the beauty of this world and what it is to live in it.
If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things was long-listed for the Booker and Commonwealth Writers Prizes and won both the Betty Trask and Somerset Maugham Award. Pretty startling for a first book. Since 2002 McGregor has written So Many Ways to Begin (2007) Even the Dogs (2010) and This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You (2013).
For me, this book remains one of the jewels of English literature. It is poetic, not only at the sentence level, or the way the paragraphs and chapters flow and dovetail into each other, the entire book is a poem. I love writers who understand and try to master the poetic in their work. It leaves me satisfied, and it leaves me in a state of mystery, a state I often fall out of in the clutter of a day.
McGregor holds the narrative threads and weaves them into unusual ways that remind the reader there is another force in the world, a force other than the linear and literal, a force that expresses itself in synchronicity and metaphor so subtle and prevalent that we mundane humans living in places as profane as the city will miss out if we do not speak of it.
Donna Ward is the publisher at Inkerman & Blunt which recently brought out Australian Love Poems 2013, ed. Mark Tredinnick. She was the founding managing editor of indigo, the journal of Western Australian creative writing and immediate past editor of Sotto Magazine, an online publication of Australian Poetry. Her prose has been published in Island Magazine, Ext2012, Fish Anthology 2012 and JuteBox Anthology.
Your turn: Have you ever loved a book so much after just a few lines that you’ve stayed in the bookshop to read it?!
Rory O’Connor on John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire
Perth Writers Festival Round-Up
This will be my final post on PWF, I promise! There was just too much good stuff being said to squish it all into one blog post.
Eleanor Catton, Margaret Drabble & Jeet Thayil
One of the most thought-provoking sessions I saw at the festival was Eleanor Catton, Margaret Drabble and Jeet Thayil talking about the design of their novels with Geraldine Mellett. I love getting an insight from authors about the ideas behind their novels, and decisions they make on aspects such as structure, narrative voice etc so this session was fascinating for me.
Mellett opened the session with a quote about writing from EL Doctorow which is a particular favourite of mine:
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
Thayil said for him, writing is more like getting into a boat at night and heading out into the open seas, with no idea where you’re going. Echoing David Vann’s sentiment, he believes there is much to be said for gut instinct in writing, and said it took several years before the right structure for his novel became clear to him.
Drabble shared a similar story, of arriving at her point of view for The Pure Gold Baby simply through trial and error - trying out a few perspectives before settling on the right narrator.
I felt instantly warm towards Thayil when he revealed that his novel took five and a half years to write. I feel like I’m always hearing about people who write books in a year, whereas I’m a very slow writer and it gave me comfort to know I’m not the only one who takes years to finish a book.
One of the things I love about writers festivals is the opportunity to be exposed to people who are more intelligent than me, and though I have not yet read The Luminaries, the depth of thought that went into it astounded me - Eleanor Catton is nothing short of a brainiac - like an eighty year old mind in a twenty-something year old body. She described how she began The Luminaries with two years of reading, following what interested her from book to book, in particular, reading the writers of the nineteenth century ‘with the intent to steal from them’. She said when she begins writing she tries to keep the ‘what if…?’ part of her mind open for as long as possible.
Catton quoted Aristotle, who apparently said that everything in a novel must be both probable and necessary. Drabble said she loves unnecessary bits and Thayil said he often writes pieces that seem to be unnecessary but turn out otherwise. I’ve been pondering this aspect of the conversation quite a lot in relation to the book I’m reading: Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex. Eugenides is fond of the totally unnecessary, or seemingly unnecessary tangent. These are ‘diverting’ in both sense of the word i.e. interesting but pulling my attention away from the main story.
Small and Perfectly Formed
My second chairing opportunity for the festival came in the form of a panel on short fiction. I talked novellas with Julienne Van Loon, flash fiction and editing a short story collection with Angela Meyer and the differences between writing short fiction and writing for film with Ron Elliott. We briefly touched on style, structure, genre and plotting in our conversation and there was a wide range of approaches to these aspects of writing from the panel, followed by some excellent audience questions.
A Good Death
Though I usually stick firmly to fiction-based sessions, at this year’s festival I was attracted to two sessions on topical issues. The first of these was on euthanasia or assisted suicide. Chair Anne Summers brought just the right amount of levity to a panel which touched on some raw and challenging topics. The discussion was well-received by what seemed to be a mostly in-favour audience although failed to adequately cover the problematic aspect of the risks posed by assisted suicide for the mentally ill.
A Country Too Far
My festival weekend finished with a sobering and deeply-moving session about asylum seekers. Editors Rosie Scott and Tomas Keneally explained their thinking behind putting together an anthology of fictional and non-fictional pieces which address the asylum seekers issue. Keneally spoke of how the legal and ethical argument - that people are entitled to seek asylum - doesn’t seem to sway people in the slightest, and they hope that by telling stories, by putting a human face on this issue, they might get people to see it differently.
The panel featured Debra Adelaide, who made a fictional contribution to the collection, as well as two ‘reformed refugees’ - Carina Hoang and Young Australian of the Year Akram Azimi. All spoke eloquently and with great compassion about the plight of current refugees in Australia but the speaker who most affected me was Azimi.
Having travelled extensively around Australia and met many people who were openly hostile towards refugees, Azimi held no bitterness towards them. He simple believes we need to find new ways of helping those people to understand the complexities of asylum seeking, and seemed hopeful that there was the possibility of change. I hope very much that the anthology A country Too Far will be a positive step in the right direction.
Your turn: I’d love to hear your thoughts about the issues discussed in these sessions, whether fictionally-focused or otherwise. There is always much to process after a writers festival and it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off others.
Perth Writers Festival 2014 (Part II)
My Year in Writing 2013
Lionel Shriver & David Vann
My first session on Saturday was a really stimulating discussion between two expatriate American writers: Lionel Shriver and David Vann, chaired by Chip Rolley, also an ex-pat - which might say something about the US - I’ll leave it up to you to draw your conclusions! One of the things I love most about Perth Writers Festival is the myriad opportunities to bump into people you know, and this session was no exception. I sat between fellow local author and friend Dawn Barker, and Naama Amram, from my publishing team at Fremantle Press.
The discussion centred around ‘issues-based’ writing. Shriver said readers don’t turn to fiction ‘to be edified about social and political issues’ and suggested that if that’s what you’re about as a writer, you’d better cover it up well. I myself am easily turned off novels which seem too didactic, an experience I had recently with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah. Shriver argued that novels need a broader thematic panel than the political issues of the time, in order to retain relevance and appeal in the longterm.
She believes fiction is good for exploring different issues, darker corners and deeper matters than non-fiction, that it should enlighten in some way that non-fiction cannot…or at least be funny. (She certainly was funny, in a scathing, bone-dry sort of way). She said her books stem from the intersection of the public and the private and that having a personal experience sometimes gives her a sense of ownership of an issue. For example, when a friend of hers paid $2 million in medical expenses, only to die anyway, she wrote So Much for That, ‘not from some dry political conviction, but from burning rage’.
She also elucidated the idea behind a phrase on the last page of her most recent novel Big Brother:
We are meant to be hungry,
She believes wanting something is more fun than getting it, an idea I found myself mulling over long after the session.
I didn’t connect quite so much with what David Vann said, perhaps because his work is unfamiliar to me, though one of his comments resonated with me very much:
An idea is the worst thing that can happen to a writer. it’s better not to know.
Hannah Kent & Evie Wyld
On Saturday afternoon I had the privilege of chairing a session with Hannah Kent and Evie Wyld, on the ‘fallen women’ in their novels Burial Rites and All the Birds, Singing. I had read both their books very closely and it was a great pleasure to hear both authors speak so eloquently about the thinking that underpinned the books: their sources of inspiration, their research and their characters.
Here we are, in the green room before the session:
And here, chatting up a storm in the Dolphin Theatre:
After recharging my batteries with an amazing dinner at Balthasar with my parents, we headed off to the Perth Concert Hall to see Martin Amis in conversation with Tony Jones. And what a brilliant conversation it was! Amis quoted poets and philosophers, told affectionate and often hilarious yarns about friends and family members, including his father and stepmother - also writers, and made comment on every aspect of contemporary British society from ‘Lotto louts’ to the royal family. There were numerous quotable quotes, (though I got told off by another audience member for live-tweeting these) and I came away feeling educated as well as entertained.
Your turn: What’s your take on issues-based novels? Do you agree that an idea is the worst thing that can happen to a novelist? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Perth Writers Festival (Part I)
January reading Round-Up
I’ve also enjoyed these festival round-ups from Maureen Helen, Emily Paull and Dawn Barker.
I suppose some writers do eventually get all jaded about festivals but I’m still at the stage where I can’t imagine that ever happening to me; I was just as excited to take part in Perth Writers Festival this year, as I was for the first time last year, and I had every bit as much of a wonderful time.
My festival began with a panel discussion called Find Me On Facebook, which was part of the daylong publishing seminar for aspiring/early-career writers. Myself and author Chris Allen spoke alongside Claire Miller, my publicist from Fremantle Press, and Jane Novak from Text Publishing, on how publishers work with authors on social media and marketing.
Our chair, Rosemary Sayer, myself, and Claire Miller
The lecture theatre was packed with 150 writers all hoping for the holy grail of a publishing contract and I remembered attending a similar event at Melbourne Writers Festival, almost a decade ago now, before the publication of my first novel A New Map of the Universe. I remember leaving that event somewhat dispirited at the thought of how difficult it was going to be to get my novel published.
And it is difficult, perhaps even more so now. But I also know that there are some people who were in that theatre on Thursday, who will continue to work at their craft, continue to learn from the books they read, and from events like the Writers Festival, and one day they will achieve their dream. So, if you are one of those people, and if writing is truly the only thing that could ever make you happy - don’t give up.
Jo Baker on Longbourn
On Friday morning I went to see Jo Baker discussing her novel Longbourn, a kind of re-writing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants, which Baker described as neither a prequel, nor a sequel, but a ‘subquel’ in which her story forms another layer beneath the original novel.
Baker said that writing Longbourn was born out of a desire to write herself into the world of Austen’s books which she has been reading and re-reading since the age of twelve. She combed the pages, reading for the servants between the lines. I loved this idea!
Margaret Drabble on The Pure Gold Baby
The first thing that struck me in this session was the introduction of the author as Dame Margaret Drabble. I think it’s pretty awesome that someone can be ‘knighted’ for services to literature! Chair Liz Byrski established a lovely rapport with Drabble who was like a dream grandmother - super-wise, kind and also very funny. She spoke intelligently and compassionately about the issues in her novels, especially motherhood and also had some very funny asides, such as this one, on peripheral characters:
I haven’t got the energy to invent entire people who don’t do much.
Social Media Marketing
I spent the afternoon delivering a workshop on blogging, Facebook and Twitter to a group who ranged from people already using social media regularly, to those who’d never tried it and admitted to being skeptics. The topics they planned to post about ran the gamut from Coco’s dog blog to the Vietnamese diaspora and everything in between, so they really kept me on my toes!
There were two more days of the festival which I packed full of stuff but I will save the details of those for another post.
In the evening I had tickets to see The Academy of St Martin in the Fields playing selections from Britten, Mozart, Stravinksy and Haydn and it was the perfect end to a somewhat over-stimulating day, as it was a performance containing not a single word!
Your turn: Were you lucky enough to attend Perth Writers Festival this year? What were your favourite parts?
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Writing Goals for 2014
Top 10 Book Club Books
Duties other than Writing
Back when I was writing my first novel A New Map of the Universe, my one task as a writer was simply to write. How times change! In the last couple of years, writing has become like running a small business for me. I spend time on administrative chores like tax and invoicing, pursuing opportunities like grants and residencies, and marketing activities such as blogging and speaking at libraries. Though many of these tasks are enjoyable (NOT tax!), they all eat into my writing time and last year I noticed there were days when I got no real writing done at all.
So this year I have decided to put writing front and centre. I begin writing immediately after school drop-off, and I don’t allow myself to spend time on any other writing-related tasks until I’ve hit my word count for the day.
Daily Word Count Goal
Last year at Perth Writers Festival I attended a workshop an adventure writing run by Peter Heller, in which he advocated a daily word count goal of 500 words, and by that he meant exactly 500 words. As soon as you hit 500 words, you stop, even if you’re mid-sentence.
Image via thelivingbrick.com
Apparently Graham Greene used this technique his whole life and Heller tried it out and now swears by it. He said it eradicates that feeling of starting each morning with a blank page, a new scene to write and no idea where to begin. Every time you sit down to write you’re already in the middle of something, so there’s no time wasted while you wait to get your juices flowing.
I was a bit dubious about it, but Heller’s novel The Dog Stars is one of my favourite novels of recent years; if this crazy method can result in a book like that I’m all for giving it a go.
And I know what you’re thinking. 500 words a day is so little. but 2500 words per week is 130,000 words per year. Even if I delete a lot, I should be able to produce a book a year at that rate. Also I find setting the bar so low helps me getting over my dread of beginning to write. I tell myself: I only have to write 500 words, how bad can it be?
So, at a snail’s pace of 500 words per day, here’s what I hope to achieve this year:
I’ve written 45,000 words of this story, which is an epic quest with a speculative twist, and think I’m about halfway there. Halfway through the first volume that is… did I mention it’s the first in a trilogy? Yikes! I’m really having fun writing this book. It’s got punch-ups and chases and drug benders and human sacrifice and all sorts of things I’ve never had a chance to write about before. I’m hoping to finish a first draft by June.
No, don’t worry, that’s not the title - it doesn’t have a title as yet, or even a working title but I’ve started making notes for my fifth novel, which will be a story about a family dealing with the effects of post-natal depression. Having suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of my son, I have wanted to write about it for a long time but didn’t feel ready. I think now I have sufficient distance from it/perspective on it to give it a go and I have a residency at KSP at the end of this year in which I plan to get started.
And last but not least, I finally have all the puzzle pieces in place for my e-book and accompanying app and if all goes to plan The Ark will be released in June this year. Huzzah!
Your turn: What are your creative goals for this year? Do you have a daily word count?
On reading: Top Ten Book Club Books
On writing: My year in Writing
Some time ago I asked the members of my book club what they thought made a good book club book. Most agreed that it can’t just be a satisfying and well-written story. In order to be worth discussing, it needs a little something more: a controversial issue, a moral dilemma, a loathsome character, an ambiguous ending. Based on their thoughts I put together a list of some of my favourite novels which I think would be fantastic for book clubs, with links to my reviews:
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
My book club had so much fun responding to this novel I wrote a blog post about it. Our antics included a facial expressions Round Robin and a challenge to describe 20 years of your life in 1 tweet. Goon Squad is experimental but also highly relatable: a wonderful combination.
Room by Emma Donoghue
An amazingly gripping and original novel in which a mother must protect her child under the most heinous circumstances imaginable. This book lends itself to a ‘what would you do, if you found yourself here?’ debate.
Palladio by Jonathan Dee
Hugely underrated, Dee is also one of the most confounding novelists I can think of. In our spoon-fed world, it’s a refreshing change to not be told what to think, but it’s also bewildering and unsettling and this is where your book club comes in. Was the main character a visionary? Or just a pretentious ass? Was the protagonist a sap? or a trailblazer? Talk all night and you still might not know the answers, but you’ll enjoy the conversation.
The Slap by Christos Tsolkias
If you are part of one of the only book clubs in the Western world who has not yet read this book, what the heck are you waiting for? I challenge you to find any book that will get a book club more outraged and disgusted. So many characters you will love to hate…get into it!
How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
Is Marta delusional, or did something terrible happen to her? Is Hector her protector or the perpetrator of a terrible crime? The ambiguity in this gripping début is guaranteed to generate a great debate.
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
A story told by an unreliable narrator always makes for a good discussion as the punters must choose whether or not to believe their version of events. Added to some ethical questions in a life-or-death scenario, you’ll have plenty to talk about.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Would you rather die, or stay alive when everyone you love is dead? How far would you go to survive? Would you kill someone else in self-defence? Eat them if you were starving? So many juicy questions to be mulled over in response to this post-apocalyptic masterpiece.
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This is a deeply disturbing book and one I badly needed to debrief on with someone else. It is relatable in a way that is frightening and leads to self-reflection that can be uncomfortable. Best enjoyed by a book club who already know each other well, or who really want to get to know each other much much better!
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
A kind of contemporary To Kill a Mockingbird which explores the moral issues we face when the justice system fails us and those we love. Would you take matters into your own hands? Would you condemn someone else for doing that?
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I know many book clubs like to read an occasional classic and this is one that really got tongues wagging at my book club. There were odious characters, and complex family issues leading to interminable feuds and all sorts of other fascinating ideas to sift through.
Your turn: Which books have generated the best discussions in your book club?
Best Books of 2013
My Year in Writing
…in which I invite someone bookish to share one of their all-time favourite works of fiction and what it means to them. This week’s Friday Fave comes from librarian and book-blogger Rory O’Connor:
There are so many novels I love – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Empire Falls by Richard Russo, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, White Oleander by Janet Fitch – to pick just one seemed limiting but eventually it came to me.
John Irving is one of my favorite authors, I love most of his novels and his work means more to me than I care to admit. Mostly because to admit exactly how much I love John Irving would be…worrisome, but I find his levity, his literary flights of fancy, and his sense of humor to be infinitely appealing. The Hotel New Hampshire stole my heart at an early age. It was also one of my first forays into quirky literary fiction and that has been my literature of choice ever since. This dark fable had everything I wanted – an eccentric, but loving family, travel, humor, drama, Freud, and a circus bear – and many things I already had (unfortunately). Though I never did want (or have) a stuffed dog…
In The Hotel New Hampshire, life is irreverently examined inside out and upside down, it’s subverted, avenged, and embraced. This novel is the chronicle of life, love, death, and dreams. It’s entirely unconventional and there are no guaranteed happy endings (I borrow the term “happy fatalism” quite often in regards to my own life). I think it’s entirely brilliant, although I suspect I enjoy reading about unconventional families because my own upbringing was unconventional. I lived in a variety of places with a variety of people (none quite as exotic as Viennese terrorists) and never called anywhere home for long. This is true of the family in the novel as well, yet Irving has a way of creating characters – the lovable grandfather, the dreamer father, and the eccentric siblings – that you’d want to be related to. This is all very appealing to a person who never really had a family. I wanted to know John, Lily, Frank, Iowa Bob, and Freud.
Further, Irving’s writing, while extremely funny, also had an edge of utter bleakness that I find quite realistic. Depression and self-doubt run rampant throughout the novel and I find this reminiscent of my own life (specifically the latter). I’m fairly certain that, in my mind, I’ll never quite be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough, etc. and it’s nice to see a darkly humorous approach to this feeling (admittedly I find supremely self-confident people to be quietly perverse). And honestly, if you can’t laugh about your shortcomings, you have to cry. And I truly love to laugh. This particular quote about acceptance has stuck with me:
Human beings are remarkable – at what we can learn to live with. If we couldn’t get strong from what we lose, and what we miss, and what we want and can’t have, then we couldn’t ever get strong enough, could we?
The Hotel New Hampshire is bizarre, ridiculous, and odd. The novel walks the fine line between humane and heartfelt and crass and uncomfortable. It’s about rape, incest, accidents, death, hotels, bears, terrorism, and taxidermy. It’s also about acceptance, love, and family. In some ways, it’s about everything I always - and never - wanted. Irving, somewhere within all of the absurdity, manages to create a beautiful portrait of the strange paths life leads us down. This novel has been one of my favorites for 15 years and I expect I’ll always regard the novel with the same warmth and affection as I do now.
Rory O’Connor is a science and engineering librarian who lives in Denver, Colorado. Despite her ardent love of organization, she also loves the unpredictable world of fiction and film. You can find her on her blog Fourth Street Review.
Your turn: What’s your favourite John Irving novel?
Liz Newell on Marcus Zusak’s When Dogs Cry
My year in writing
My favourite of the books I read this month was Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, a mystery and a love story which pokes fun at Hollywood and somehow manages to be simultaneously irreverent and poignant, as well as being very very funny. A close second was Ursula LeGuin's 1969 classic, The Left Hand of Darkness, a startlingly imaginative speculative fiction which is both a political drama and an adventure story. Her insights into human nature and culture and fascinating to read and so beautifully expressed.
Perth Writers Festival
I’m excited to be chairing a couple of sessions at Perth Writers Festival later this month and some of the reading I’ve been doing has been in preparation for those sessions. I’ll be talking to Evie Wyld about her stark and disturbing novel All the Birds, Singing; a haunting book, told in reverse chronology, with a mystery at its heart. I’ll also be talking to Julienne Van Loon about her novella Harmless, a restrained and compassionate insight into the lives of the marginalised and disempowered. Harmless is the first novel I have read for this year’s AWW Challenge.
I was very attracted by the premise of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life in which a person who has to keep living their life again and again until they get it right - a sort of highbrow version of Groundhog Day. I had very high expectations after seeing it on just about every end of year best-of list, but I have to confess, I couldn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. It was a decent book but for me, nothing out of the ordinary and the premise was at best underused, and at worst, taken to the nth degree in a manner that made it preposterous.
The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard was a book I picked up at the library without having heard of it. It was absorbing but I was curiously detached from the characters and the story and it felt like a book that I would forget almost as soon as I had closed the covers.
Your turn: Have you read any of these books? Would you like to? What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?
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December Reading Round-Up
My year in writing
This was the second year in which I took part in the Australian Women Writers Challenge and I’m pleased to say I did MUCH better than last year, reading 9 books by Australian women writers and reviewing 8 of them (though I admit my reviews got briefer as the year went on).
My favourite of the books I read for the challenge, and indeed of all the books I read last year, was Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker, an exquisitely written and deeply moving meditation on love in its many forms.
These are the other books I read, most of which I enjoyed very much, with links to reviews:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Elemental by Amanda Curtin
The Burial by Courtney Collins
The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer by Edwina Preston
just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth
Shallow Breath by Sara Foster
Fractured Dawn Barker
Who We Were by Lucy Neave
After being pretty disinterested in Australian literature for a long time, the AWW Challenge has helped me to discover some interesting new voices. I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of discovery in 2014. Some of the books I plan to read are:
Red Queen by Honey Brown
Darkness on the Edge of Town by Jessie Cole
Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss
The Factory by Paddy O’Reilly
I’ll also be interviewing an Australian female writer on the second Friday of every month on the AWW Challenge blog.
Your turn: Have you read any great books by Australian women authors this year? Would you like to read and discover more? Why don’t you sign up too? You can commit to as few or many as you like and don’t have to review - you can just read and enjoy.
Best Books of 2013
Q&A with author Anna Solding