Stephen Daisley wins NZ$50,000 fiction prize at Ockham NZ Book Awards… Reviewer Sue Green writes: ‘It is four years since Stephen Daisley’s heartbreakingly beautiful debut novel Traitor. Many of us enjoyed the irony of this Western Australia-based Kiwi winning the $80,000 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction with what was, at its heart, a very New Zealand story. So it was disconcerting to discover that this much-anticipated second book is wrought by his experience in the harsh environs of rural Western Australia. Shearer, truck driver, sheep and cattle station worker, Daisley, who moved to Australia more than twenty-five years ago, knows and loves this unforgiving country and its people. And it shows. Even such unlovely characters as the violent bigot Painter Hayes are drawn with compassion for a man of his place and time… ’
‘This is a brutal, unflinching work with moments of shocking violence. Yet it is rendered with the same compassion, the exquisite tenderness and eye for beauty in the harshest places which made Traitor so affecting and memorable.’
Have a Happy 2016! And here are some of our new books: Click on these underlined links to see more about each writer:
Adam Wakeling: The Last Fifty Miles:
‘They were fifty miles to victory and defeat, fifty miles to collapse and renewal, and fifty miles to a new place for Australia among the nations of the world. They were among the most significant fifty miles in our history.’
Kirsten Tranter, Hold
‘A compelling story… so perfectly calibrated that it’s like being at the centre of an unfolding flower.’ — Amanda Lohrey
‘Sensual, spooky, and utterly beguiling: Hold is an enormously powerful work of art, an intimate portrait of grief and betrayal.’ — Ceridwen Dovey, author of Only the Animals
You can read Linda Morris‘s long 2016 interview with the author in The Melbourne Age here.
Luke Devenish, The Secret Heiress: A fabulous fortune. Beautiful, identical twins… Dark shadows fall across the golden summer of 1886. Naïve country girl Ida Garfield longs to escape the farm. When Miss Matilda Gregory, the elegant mistress of Summersby House, offers Ida employment as a housemaid, Ida leaps at the chance. Yet it’s not for her servant’s skills that she’s wanted. It’s her inquisitiveness.
But before Ida starts her first day, Miss Gregory is found dead. Fearing her one chance of bettering herself lost, Ida goes to the funeral, hoping that someone else from Summersby will still want her.
Someone does. Handsome blond Englishman Mr Samuel Hackett is the late Miss Gregory’s fiancé. He expresses a keen need for a housemaid — and a friend. But Miss Gregory’s will brings to light an extraordinary deception and a terrible wrong from the past. Summersby has a secret heiress, whose name is also Matilda Gregory, a strange, ethereal girl with an irrevocably broken memory. Who is this mysterious heiress, and why is Ida bound forever to the truth?
Catriona Menzies-Pike: The Long Run How did women’s running go from being suspect to wildly popular? How does a high school klutz become a marathon runner? This fascinating book combines memoir and cultural history to explore the rich and contradictory topic of women and running.
Amanda Lohrey: A Short History of Richard Kline ‘Lohrey convinces us because we know she has one foot firmly on solid ground. Her first fiction, “The Morality of Gentlemen” (1984), remains the finest political novel in the slender Australian sub-genre. Just as Aldous Huxley brought a scientific rigour to his experiments with psychedelics in “The Doors of Perception” — and just as English novelist, translator and critic Tim Parks, famed for his pugnacious opinions, recently applied his fine-grained scepticism to an account of learning to meditate in “Teach Us to Sit Still” — Lohrey brings all the sober acerbity with which she has judged worldly things to a book about moving beyond them.’ — Geordie Williamson, The Australian.
“Sixty Minutes” journalist Ross Coulthart has shared top prize in the history category at the Prime Minister’s literary awards for his detailed, thoughtful and investigative biography of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents, Charles Bean. Ross shared the prize with David Horner, who wrote an unofficial history of ASIO called The Spy Catchers.
And now, in 2016, a glorious companion to The Lost Diggers: the book that made Ross Coulthart’s name. The Lost Tommies, mainly contemporary photos of British Tommies just before the horrific Battle of the Somme, is now at the top of Amazon’s Historial #1 on Amazon.co.uk historical biographies! Here’s part of the Sunday Times (London) notice: ‘But most of what is said about those we euphemistically call “the fallen” seems hollow when placed in proximity to this book. “We will remember them”, for example, is clearly false. They have vanished like melted snow, and but for this astonishing cache of pictures, we should not even know how they once looked. Whatever ideas you have about the Great War, The Lost Tommies will change them.’
Running Against the Tide The past will always find you.
Erin Travers is running away from her life and taking her two sons with her to a small town on the ruggedly beautiful Eyre Peninsula. The close-knit township is full of happy childhood memories for Erin, but she’s bringing a whole lot of baggage with her. When the peaceful community is disrupted by theft and arson, rumours fly about who is responsible. In a small town where lives are tangled too closely together, old grudges flare, fingers are pointed and secrets are unmasked.
From the bestselling author of Claiming Noah, Running Against the Tide is brimming with malice and threat, and cements Amanda Ortlepp’s position as one of Australia’s most compelling storytellers.
David Marr: Faction Man ‘Australians distrust Shorten almost as much as they distrust Abbott. That’s why this election will be fought on trust. It’s going to be dirty. At the heart of the contest will be Shorten’s character. All the way to polling day, Australians will be invited to rake over every detail of his short life and hidden career.’
David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is the author of four previous bestselling Quarterly Essays.
Malcolm Knox: The Wonder Lover: What’s the worst thing that can happen to a man with three secret families? He falls in love.
‘It is a compulsive and thrilling read, a dazzling achievement. There is a word that should be used very rarely but I believe is absolutely right for this book: The Wonder Lover is superb.’ — Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.
Anne Gorman: The Country Wife
‘In the tradition of Sara Henderson’s From Strength to Strength, comes a powerful true story of heartbreak and triumph.‘
Stephen Daisley: Coming Rain:
Stephen Daisley writes in lucid, rippling prose of how things work, and why; of the profound satisfaction in hard work done with care; of love and friendship, and the damage that both contain.
Robert Dessaix: What Days are For: A Memoir “The pleasure and elegance of all Dessaix’s writing is in the language, the erudition, the delicate, often unexpected and lovely connections, and the intimate, conversational voice…” – Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, in The Australian
Peter Twohig: The Torch: A madcap, brilliantly shambolic and irresistibly fun novel about loss, discovery and living life to the full, The Torch is a ripper of a ride.
Barry Maitland: Crucifixion Creek
Fiona Palmer: The Saddler Boys
‘Fiona Palmer just keeps getting better’ — Rachael Johns
Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead. When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.
As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society life in Perth and the rural community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.
‘Palmer’s passion for the land bleeds into the story, and her scenes are vivid and genuine, just as her characters are.’ — Book’d Out
‘Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much-loved genres.’ — Countryman
We have moved our email addresses to the supposedly safe gmail.com. Now if only Apple Mail could learn to play well with Gmail! Please go to the Contact Us link above, and send us a brief request asking us to send you our correct email address.
Also, we have moved our website to a ‘responsive’ WordPress blog site to allow us to sort our authors by WordPress Category, that is, by Genre. On a small screen, they may be at the very foot of the page.
A ‘responsive’ WordPress blog site resizes and redesigns itself automatically for smaller screens like pads or phone screens. Amazing! That‘s a bonus!
Genre pages sort automatically into standard alphabetical listing. Authors have their own pages, with the links A to Z, listed in the sidebar on a wide screen. We represent the work of many authors, so the list is quite long.
See the “All About ALM” page for more about us.