Kirsten Tranter

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Kirsten Tranter, Hold

‘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

Three years ago, Shelley’s lover, Conrad, died in a surfing accident. Now, still in a state of subdued grief, Shelley has just moved into an old Victorian terrace in Paddington with David, her new partner, trying for a new beginning. At home one morning, Shelley discovers a door to a small intriguing room, which is not on the plans. There is a window, a fireplace and a beautiful chandelier. But nothing else. When Shelley meets a man who seems to be Conrad’s uncanny double, the mysterious room begins to dominate her world, becoming a focus for her secret fantasies and fears, offering an escape which also threatens to become a trap. A waking dream of a novel, Hold is spellbinding, sensual and unsettling.

Hold is an uncanny tale and a compelling story of unresolved grief in a structure so perfectly calibrated that it’s like being at the centre of an unfolding flower. Written with great delicacy and restraint, Hold is intensely evocative of Sydney and its disorienting subtropical strangeness.’ — Amanda Lohrey

Praise for The Legacy

‘[Kirsten Tranter’s] first novel, The Legacy, shows her to be a novelist with a commanding talent — a tough plain-stylist who can people her fictional world with characters of great vivacity and vigour … Full of suave and stunning evocations of Sydney and Manhattan, this sparkling and spacious novel captures the smell and sap of young people half in love with everyone they’re vividly aware of, and groping to find themselves… like the answer to an erotic enigma’ — Peter Craven, The Monthly

‘This hypnotic debut from Australian author Tranter pays homage to Henry James’s A Portrait of a Lady while offering a suspenseful story line worthy of Patricia Highsmith… While Tranter’s sedate pacing avoids typical thriller antics and conventional crime plot twists, she raises some wickedly keen questions about art world wheeling and dealing’ — Publishers Weekly

‘An intelligent and engaging novel that is dense, intricate, detailed, acutely observed, and beautifully written in a voice that is measured and consistent from start to finish’ — Debra Adelaide, author of The Household Guide to Dying

‘The Legacy never lacks self-assurance or narrative drive’ — Sydney Morning Herald

‘[Tranter is] an innovative revisionist unafraid of challenge and more than up for the risks, tempering the satisfaction of the known with the surprises of the new … The Legacy is an entertaining literary thriller that skilfully describes the almost pleasurable pain of love and life denied’ — Weekend Australian

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They were originally five close friends, bonded in college, still coming together for their annual trip to Las Vegas. This year they are four. Four friends, sharing a common loss: Dylan’s tragic death. A common loss that, upon their arrival in Vegas, will bring with it a common threat: one that will make them question who their departed friend really was, and whether he is even worthy of their grief.

A Common Loss is Kirsten Tranter’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, The Legacy. Yet again, Tranter’s weave of watertight prose and literary sensibilities shows her to be a born writer with a precocious control of storytelling and style.

A Common Loss: Fourth Estate / HarperCollins

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The Legacy explores the complex workings of love and friendship, and asks whether it is possible to escape or to transform our scripted fate. Julia Alpers, a young woman from Sydney, travels to New York in August 2002 at the request of her friend Ralph to search for answers about their friend, his cousin Ingrid. Ingrid inherited a fortune when she was twenty-one and married Gil Grey, a charismatic dealer in the New York art world with a teenage daughter, Fleur, a child art prodigy. Ingrid has been missing since September 11, 2001, presumed dead in the destruction of the Twin Towers.
A literary mystery, The Legacy reshapes the plot of Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady into a study of ambivalence and desire, loss and possibility.

‘This is the most satisfying novel I’ve read all year. I can’t wait to see what she does next.’ – Hannah Francis, Australian Bookseller and Publisher

The Legacy was placed on the long list for the Miles Franklin Prize.

The Legacy: Australia/New Zealand rights: Harper Collins Australia

World rights other than Australia/New Zealand rights: Simon and Schuster

US: The Legacy was published in the US under the Atria inprint in 2010

UK: Quercus published The Legacy in the UK in 2011.


Kirsten Tranter completed a PhD in English (on English Renaissance poetry) at Rutgers University and has divided her time between New York, Sydney and Berkeley for the past ten years. You can follow Kirsten’s internet diary at www.kirstentranter.com