Outside, the rain continues unceasing; silver sheets sluicing down, the trees and shrubs soaking and bedraggled, the earth sodden, puddles overflowing, torrents coursing onwards, as the darkness slowly softens with the dawn...
Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the woes of the middle class. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to be able to let herself fall in love again. Meanwhile, April and Lawrence are battling through their own messy lives, and Ester and April's mother, Hilary, is facing the most significant decision she'll ever have to make.
Taking place over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a novel about dissatisfactions and anxieties in the face of relative privilege. Yet it is also a celebration of the best in all of us - our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous recognition of the profound beauty of being alive.
shortlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize
Against anything I had ever been told was possible, I was turning white. On the surface of my skin, a miracle was quietly brewing . . .
Suburban Australia. Sweltering heat. Three bedroom blonde-brick. Family of five. Beat-up Ford Falcon. Vegemite on toast. Maxine Beneba Clarke's life is just like all the other Aussie kids on her street.
Except for this one, glaring, inescapably obvious thing.
From one of Australia's most exciting writers, and the author of the multi-award-winning FOREIGN SOIL, comes THE HATE RACE: a powerful, funny, and at times devastating memoir about growing up black in white middle-class Australia.
Everything they do subverts their firm intention of keeping up appearances. They meet just after the war in liberated Paris but they cannot quite free themselves from the many strings attached to them - the old aunts, the sisters, the cousins, the nuns and the ominous concierges that dog their footsteps.
Alexandre is a banker and a Resistant; he has never gone to school and lives in a world of numbers and Roman emperors. Poum has never darkened the threshold of a school either, signed a cheque or ever quite lived like other mothers do. She resides in the Odyssey and in her bed, hiding from the mysterious disapproval of their relatives, for they both seem to persist in some irreparable faux pas which has them wading through a lifetime pickle. Their daughter, Catherine, would like to help but she seems to be part of the problem.
This is no ordinary childhood, and Catherine de Saint Phalle's acceptance of her parents, despite their prominent flaws, shines through, propelling us head first into their strange, yet beautiful, Parisian world.
Poum and Alexandre is a searingly honest, humorous and moving ode to family and place, and a meditation on the ways they ultimately define us.
'A memoir of a very gifted writer’s unusual parents, woven from myth, history, and family lore. This is a disturbing, bittersweet and poetic rendering of the longing for love and understanding. More than personal, it conjures past worlds, their horrors and their triumphs, as if they were wholly present to us.' - Tracy Ryan, author of Unearthed, Claustrophobia and Sweet
Shortlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize
Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm is Bella's beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, whose apparent easygoing nature conceals hard-won wisdom and the kind of street-smarts only experience can bring.
As Chris is plunged into despair and searches for answers, reasons, explanation - anything - that could make even the smallest sense of Bella's death, her ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her.
But as the days tick by with no arrest, Chris's suspicion of those around her grows.
An Isolated Incident is a psychological thriller about everyday violence, the media's obsession with pretty dead girls, the grip of grief and the myth of closure, and the difficulties of knowing the difference between a ghost and a memory, between a monster and a man.
"At the heart of ... Emily Maguire's work lies an urgent need to pull away at the interconnecting threads of morality, society and human relationships." Sydney Morning Herald "what you get, along with a sharp mind and a keenness to investigate cultural confusions, is an engaging ability to put the vitality of the story first." - Weekend Australian
Longlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize
Longlisted for the 2017 Indie Book Awards
Commended for the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction
'This is a weirdly beautiful book.' – David Walsh founder and curator, MONA
'Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.' – Stella Adler
'Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.' – From The Museum of Modern Love
She watched as the final hours of The Artist is Present passed by, sitter after sitter in a gaze with the woman across the table. Jane felt she had witnessed a thing of inexplicable beauty among humans who had been drawn to this art and had found the reflection of a great mystery. What are we? How should we live?
If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.
Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.
This dazzlingly original novel asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love and finds a way to answer them.
At the age of sixty, she is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable. As she tells us in her remarkable last book, Dying: A Memoir, she now weighs less than her neighbour’s retriever.
Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautifully written book is a clear-eyed account of what dying has taught Cory: she describes the tangle of her feelings, she reflects on her life, and she remembers the lives and deaths of her parents. She tells us why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her own death.
Dying: A Memoir is a breathtaking book about vulnerability and strength, courage and humility, anger and acceptance. It is a deeply affecting meditation on dying, but it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.
Cory Taylor is an award-winning screenwriter who has also published short fiction and children’s books. Her first novel, Me and Mr Booker, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Pacific Region) and her second, My Beautiful Enemy, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. She died on 5 July 2016, a couple of months after Dying: A Memoir was published.
Shortlisted for Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, 2016
Shortlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize