Fiction Highlights for 2013

The Great Unknown

The Great Unknown

Angela Meyer

In this anthology, our editor, Angela Meyer, pays tribute to the undeniable cultural influence that American TV programs such as Twilight Zone and Outer Limits have had on our lives 'down...

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Infidelity

Infidelity

Hugh Mackay

Tom, an Australian psychologist in his early 40s, escapes to London after a messy affair with a patient. He meets Sarah - elegant, forthright, wealthy and impossible.

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 Read reviewAshes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes

Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes

Per Petterson, Don Bartlett

Arvid Jansen is a young boy who lives on the outskirts of Oslo. It's the early sixties, his father works in a shoe factory and his Danish mother works as a cleaner. Arvid wets his bed at night and has nightmares about crocodiles,...

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Saving Mozart

Saving Mozart

Raphael Jerusalmy

Time is running out for Otto Steiner, an elderly Jewish music critic who is languishing in a sanitorium in Salzburg on the eve of the Second World War. Music remains his only love, but the forces of darkness are closing in....

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 Read reviewPetit Mal

Petit Mal

D.B.C. Pierre

Drawing on memoir and a life lived in pursuit of sensation, but always ignited by the flame of fiction, Petit Mallegories take us further into the imagination of one of the most radically original prose stylists of the past...

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A Girl is a Half-formed Thing

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing

Eimear McBride

Tells in brutal detail the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. In this title, the author touches on everything from family violence to sexuality and the...

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 Read reviewSubtle Bodies

Subtle Bodies

Norman Rush

From an acclaimed master of American fiction comes an intelligent and romantic novel about friendship, funerals and the myths we employ to make sense of ourselves

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 Read reviewThe Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies

The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies

Bernard Cohen

A witty, irreverent and intelligent satire of Australian politics.

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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith

* A highly original 'detective' novel with unique setting and characters, this is the first of four 'Botswana' titles are both beautiful and charming.

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 Read reviewPerfect North

Perfect North

Jenny Bond

A beautiful debut novel that weaves truth and fiction together to tell a story of love, adventure and longing.

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The Kalahari Typing School for Men

The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Alexander McCall Smith

In this fourth volume of the bestselling series - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, the ever-popular Precious Ramotswe - Botswana's leading, and only, female private detective - faces a new and unwanted problem: competition.

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In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

Alexander McCall Smith

* Highly original 'detective' stories with unique setting and characters featuring Mma Ramotswe and her No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

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Dust

Dust

Hugh Howey

In the aftermath of the uprising, the people of Silo 18 are coming to terms with a new order. Some embrace the change, others fear the unknown; none have control of their fate. The Silo is still in danger. There are those set on...

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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

Alexander McCall Smith

The eighth instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

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Gentle Axe

Gentle Axe

Morris R. N.

Porfiry Petrovich, the clever and levelheaded police
investigator who apprehended Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky's 1866 novel
Crime and Punishment, has another case that demands his attention.
A man with a bloody axe in his belt is...

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The Man with the Compound Eyes

The Man with the Compound Eyes

Ming-Yi Wu

On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile'i is one such boy, but as the strongest swimmer and best sailor, he is determined to defy destiny and become...

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The Storyteller and His Three Daughters

The Storyteller and His Three Daughters

Lian Hearn

Lian Hearn's TALES OF THE OTORI sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Now she brings us a story about storytelling, and about love, intrigue and betrayal.

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The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor

Michael Harvey

Harvey's sizzling, intricately woven follow-up to The Chicago Way opens with murder in contemporary Chicago and winds its way back to Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

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Night Film

Night Film

Marisha Pessl

Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film is a superb literary thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster debut Special Topics in Calamity...

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 Special priceEchoes from the Dead

Echoes from the Dead

Johan Theorin

Can you ever come to terms with a missing child? Julia Davidsson has not. Her five-year-old son disappeared twenty years previously on the Swedish island of Oland. No trace of him has ever been found. Until his shoe arrives in the...

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Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

Helen Fielding

An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.

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 Read reviewGoat Mountain

Goat Mountain

David Vann

Three generations of men hunt for deer on Goat Mountain. One hot autumn day, grandfather, son and grandson discover a poacher on their land. The eleven-year-old studies the poacher through the scope of his father's rifle - and...

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 Special priceDog Eat Dog

Dog Eat Dog

Edward Bunker

'Dog Eat Dog' is the story of three men fresh out of prison who now have the task of adapting to civilian life. The California three strikes law looms over them, but what the hell, they're going to do it, and they're going to do...

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 Read reviewThe Pure Gold Baby

The Pure Gold Baby

Margaret Drabble

The Pure Gold Baby will both raise you up and break your heart, as it follows Anna, a child of special, unknowable qualities, who also presents profound parental challenges. Over decades, we observe her touch the lives...

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 Read reviewCat and Fiddle: A Novel

Cat and Fiddle: A Novel

Lesley Jorgensen

Cat & Fiddle centres on two families whose lives become intertwined at the country estate of Bourne Abbey in rural Wiltshire. While Dr Choudhury is busy advising Henry Bourne on the restoration of the abbey to its former glory,...

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 Special priceBurial Rites

Burial Rites

Hannah Kent

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving novel about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we're told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's...

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The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

A first-date dud, socially awkward, and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, Don Tillman has given up on love. Until a chance encounter gives him an idea.

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Ghost Moth

Ghost Moth

Michele Forbes

In this lyrical, evocative debut novel, a family is consumed by dark secrets as tensions rise in Northern Ireland.

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An Elegant Young Man

An Elegant Young Man

Luke Carman

For a long time Western Sydney has been the political flash-point of the nation, but it has been absent from Australian literature. Luke Carman's first book of fiction is about to change all that: a collection of monologues and...

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Tenth of December: Stories

Tenth of December: Stories

George Saunders

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection...

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 Read reviewThe Full Ridiculous

The Full Ridiculous

Mark Lamprell

Michael O'Dell is hit by a car. When he doesn't die, he is surprised and pleased. But he can't seem to move from the crash position. He can't concentrate, or control his anger and grief, or work out what to do about anything...

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 Read reviewThe Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Ayana Mathis

Fifteen years old and blazing with the hope of a better life, Hattie Shepherd fled the horror of the American South on a dawn train bound for Philadelphia. Her American dream is shattered time and again: a husband who lies and...

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 Read reviewBelomor

Belomor

Nicolas Rothwell

Elegiac and seductive, Belomor is the frontier where truth and invention meet--where fragments from distant lives intermingle, and cohere.

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 Read reviewThe Young Desire it

The Young Desire it

Kenneth Mackenzie, David Malouf

Published in London in 1937 to wide acclaim, The Young Desire It a stunning debut novel about coming of age: intimate & lyrical account of first love, & rich evocation of rural Western Australia. It won Australian Literature...

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S.

S.

Doug Dorst, J. J. Abrams

A young woman picks up a book left behind by a stranger. Inside it are his margin notes, which reveal a reader entranced by the story and by its mysterious author. She responds with notes of her own, leaving the book for the...

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 Read reviewLetter to George Clooney

Letter to George Clooney

Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide's new collection of short stories intricately maps both the sublime and the mundane landscape of ordinary lives, with her trademark dark wit and luminous intelligence. Australian author.

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 Read reviewA Lifetime on Clouds

A Lifetime on Clouds

Gerald Murnane, Andy Griffiths

A Lifetime on Clouds is funny, honest and sweetly told: a less ribald, Catholic Australian Portnoy's Complaint.

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 Read reviewCartwheel

Cartwheel

Jennifer DuBois

An American foreign-exchange student arrested for murder. A desperate father determined to win her freedom. The brilliant lawyer tasked with her prosecution. And the sphinx-like young man who happens to be her only...

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 Read reviewFloodline

Floodline

Kathryn Heyman

Funny, moving and utterly compelling, Floodline tells of the unexpected salvation that can be found on the edge of disaster.

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 Read reviewDown in the City

Down in the City

Elizabeth Harrower, Delia Falconer

Devastating debut novel from the author of The Watch Tower, hailed by The Washington Post as 'a brilliant achievement'.

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 Special priceParade

Parade

Shuichi Yoshida

Four twenty-somethings share an apartment in Tokyo. In this title, each tells their story: their lives, their hopes and fears, their loves, their secrets. It includes: Kotomi waits by the phone for a boyfriend who never calls;...

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 Read reviewThe Embassy of Cambodia

The Embassy of Cambodia

Zadie Smith

Takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in...

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 Read reviewThe Best 100 Poems of Dorothy Porter

The Best 100 Poems of Dorothy Porter

Dorothy Porter

The Best 100 Poems of Dorothy Porter draws from her life's work to present the many facets of Porter the poet, from stretching the fabric of ancient mythology to delving into the beauty of the natural world, or inking an intimate...

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The Flamethrowers

The Flamethrowers

Rachel Kushner

The year is 1977 and Reno - so called because of the place of her birth - has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Reno meets a group of dreamers and raconteurs who submit her to...

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Between My Father and the King: New and Collected Stories

Between My Father and the King: New and Collected Stories

Janet Frame

This brand new collection of 28 short stories by Janet Frame spans the length of her career and contains some of the best she wrote. None of these stories has been published in a collection before, and more than half are published...

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Lightning

Lightning

Felicity Volk

Amid the chaos of sweeping bushfires, Persia gives birth alone at home with tragic consequences. Traumatised and grieving, she travels north, and encounters Ahmed, a refugee fleeing deportation and his past in Pakistan.

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 Read reviewThe Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs

Claire Messud

Nora Eldridge has always been a good girl: a good daughter, colleague, friend, employee. She teaches at an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the children and the parents adore her; but her real passion is her...

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 Read reviewThe Memory Trap

The Memory Trap

Andrea Goldsmith

A novel about memory, music, friendship, family rifts and reconciliation, this is an intelligent, compelling read set in Melbourne.

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 Read reviewElemental

Elemental

Amanda Curtin

Nearing the end of her life, Meggie Tulloch takes up her pen to write a story for her granddaughter, Laura. It begins in the first years of the twentieth century, in a place where howling winds spin salt and sleet sucked up from...

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 Read reviewSteeplechase

Steeplechase

Krissy Kneen

I force myself to take the phone away from my ear and search for the last incoming call. I store the number under one word, 'sister'. I know I should have used her name but it is all I can think of in this moment. Sister. My...

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 Read reviewEyrie

Eyrie

Tim Winton

Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry. He's done fighting the...

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 Read reviewMullumbimby

Mullumbimby

Melissa Lucashenko

A darkly funny novel of romantic love and cultural warfare from one of Australia's most admired Indigenous voices. When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping...

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 Read reviewLetters to the End of Love

Letters to the End of Love

Yvette Walker

Three stories, three secrets, three marriages.

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 Special priceMarried Life: A Novel

Married Life: A Novel

David Vogel

Set in Vienna in the 1920s, and published in Palestine in 1929, Vogel's great novel Married Life is a portrait of a disastrous marriage between Dr Rudolf Gurdweill, a young Jewish writer, and Baroness Thea von Takow, an...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Vale Girl

The Vale Girl

Nelika McDonald

Fourteen-year-old Sarah Vale has gone missing in the small town of Banville. She's the daughter of the town whore and no one cares except Tommy Johns, who loves Sarah Vale with all the unadulterated, tentative passion of a teenage...

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The Son

The Son

Philipp Meyer

From the author of the highly acclaimed American Rust comes his eagerly awaited second novel, an extraordinary multi-generational Texan epic

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Revenge

Revenge

Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder

In the tradition of classical Japanese poetic collections, the stories in this title are linked through recurring images and motifs, as each story follows on from the one before while simultaneously introducing new characters and...

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Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Jess Walter

Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white,...

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 Read reviewMore Than This

More Than This

Patrick Ness

A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones...

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The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy

J. K. Rowling

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town...

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Tampa

Tampa

Alissa Nutting

Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She is attractive. She drives a red Corvette. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed and devoted to her. But Celeste has a secret. She has a singular sexual...

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MaddAddam

MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood

Bringing together characters from Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, this thrilling conclusion to Atwood's dystopian trilogy confirms the ultimate endurance of humanity, community, and love.

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Dear Life

Dear Life

Alice Munro

A collection of stories, in which moments of change, chance encounters, the twist of fate leads a person to a new way of thinking or being. It presents a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life...

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 Read reviewHoly Bible

Holy Bible

Vanessa Russell

Holy Bible tells the story of the Bloom family - a large, raucous, often obscene and quietly damaged family growing up in the Christadelphian sect in Ballarat.

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And the Mountains Echoed

And the Mountains Echoed

Khaled Hosseini

A multi-generational family story revolving around brothers and sisters, And the Mountains Echoed explores the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honour and sacrifice for each other. With profound wisdom,...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Quarry

The Quarry

Iain Banks

Kit doesn't know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends - or at least the friends with the most to...

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 Read reviewViennese Romance: A Novel

Viennese Romance: A Novel

David Vogel, Dalya Bilu

Michael Rost, an 18-year-old Jewish youth hungry for experience, comes to Vienna and forms passing relationships with everyone who crosses his path: whores, revolutionaries, paupers, army officers, and rich men who frequent...

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 Special priceSisterland

Sisterland

Curtis Sittenfeld

For identical twins, Kate and Violet are about as unlike as two peas from the same pod can be. Except in one respect - they share a hidden gift they call 'the Senses', a special kind of intuition that can allow them to see things...

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Paris

Paris

Edward Rutherfurd

The epic novel of the most romantic city in the world.

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The Infatuations

The Infatuations

Javier Marias, Margaret Jull Costa

Every day, Maria Dolz stops for breakfast at the same cafe. And every day she enjoys watching a handsome couple who follow the same routine. Then one day they aren't there, and she feels obscurely bereft. It is only later, when...

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 Read reviewBig Brother

Big Brother

Lionel Shriver

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the years since they've seen one another, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? Big...

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 Special price Read reviewThe Hive

The Hive

Gill Hornby

It's the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in...

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 Read reviewCollected Stories

Collected Stories

James Salter

Each indelible narrative in the Collected Stories is marked by Salter's great literary grace, his ability to show the subtleties of a character or situation with precision, and his equally assured ability to...

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 Read reviewGotland

Gotland

Fiona Capp

Shy and idealistic, Esther Chatwin is Australia's reluctant First Lady. She longs to return to the anonymity of her old life. But her husband's sudden political success has turned the media spotlight on her and her only escape is...

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 Read reviewNow Showing

Now Showing

Ron Elliott

Brimming with cinematic references, Now Showing is best consumed with a tub of hot popcorn. For the price of two movie tickets, screenwriter Ron Elliott's criminally good mini novels bring cinema's best known...

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Mr Wigg

Mr Wigg

Inga Simpson

It s the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his...

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Who We Were

Who We Were

Lucy Neave

Melbourne, 1938. Annabel's dream is to be a scientist. Falling in love is not part of her plan. But when she meets Bill Whitten she knows instantly that they are destined for each other. She has to wait for him to come back from...

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Just-a-girl

Just-a-girl

Kirsten Krauth

Layla is only 14. As she sits in bed with a laptop, her mother Margot sleeps in the next room. But what separates them is more than just a wall. just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary...

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 Read reviewA Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

Jane Rawson

A meditation on happiness - where and in what place and with who we can find our centre, a perceptive vision of where our world is headed, and a testament to the power of memory and imagination, this is the best of novels: both...

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 Special price Read reviewHarvest

Harvest

Jim Crace

Timeless yet singular, mythical yet deeply personal, this novel is about one man and his unnamed village that speaks for a way of life lost for ever. It evokes the tragedy of land pillaged and communities scattered, as England's...

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 Read reviewA Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth L. Ozeki

This is the simple story of a girl, her great-grandmother & the novelist who becomes enthralled with their tale. A simple story drawing from the deep currents of our times, from quantum physics, Japanese ghost tales, suicide...

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 Read reviewMy Beautiful Enemy

My Beautiful Enemy

Cory Taylor

Arthur Wheeler is haunted by his infatuation with a Japanese youth he encountered in the enemy alien camp where he worked as a guard during WW2. Abandoning his wife and baby son, Arthur sets out on a doomed mission to rescue his...

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 Read reviewWe are Not the Same Anymore

We are Not the Same Anymore

Chris Somerville

A man turns up at his daughter's birthday party with a goldfish in an ice-cream container. On the way to collect firewood, a woman and her teenaged neighbour crash in a snowstorm. An unwilling son helps his sister and father put...

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Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall

Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall

Jane Jervis-Read

Winner of the 2013 Viva La Novella prize, Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall is an original and unpredictable novella about the relationships that consume us when we're least expecting it.

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 Read reviewNothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Ron Rash

PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times--bestselling author Ron Rash returns again to Appalachia to capture lives haunted by violence and tenderness, hope and fear in unforgettable stories that span the Civil War to the present...

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The Sound of Things Falling

The Sound of Things Falling

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Originally published in Spain 2011 by Alfaguara (Santillana Ediciones Generales) as El ruido de las cosas al caer.

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 Read reviewKonkretion

Konkretion

Marion May Campbell

By turns funny and moving, konkretion stages a dialogue around the romance of the Baader-Meinhof gang's revolutionary aspirations. Ex-commo Monique Piquet (aka Monica Picket) meets up in Paris with her former student, Angel...

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All the Way

All the Way

Marie Darrieussecq, Penny Hueston

Solange wants to have sex. Will it be with one of the boys at school? The exchange student? The fireman she meets at the disco when she sneaks out one night? Or with Arnaud, the coolest boy she knows? She'd like to see more of her...

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 Read reviewA World of Other People

A World of Other People

Steven Carroll

Set in 1941 during the Blitz, A World of Other People traces the love affair of Jim, an Australian pilot in Bomber Command, and Iris, a forthright Englishwoman finding her voice as a writer.

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 Read reviewThe Secret Lives of Men

The Secret Lives of Men

Georgia Blain

In these haunting stories, Georgia Blain explores human nature in all its richness: our motivations, our desires and our shortcomings. The men in these tales frequently linger at the edges - their longings & failures exerting a...

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 Read reviewThe Last of the Vostyachs

The Last of the Vostyachs

Diego Marani, Judith Landry

The Last of the Vostyachs won two literary prizes in Italy: The Premio Campiello and The Premio Stresa.

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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Mohsin Hamid

A tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon. It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on the most fluid and increasingly scarce of goods:...

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Harland's Half Acre

Harland’s Half Acre

David Malouf

A revised edition of this seminal Malouf novel, now with an Afterword from the author. Frank Harland's life is centred on his great artistic gift, his passionate love for his father and four brothers, and his desire to regain the...

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The Drinker

The Drinker

Hans Fallada

Written by Hans Fallada in a notebook while he was incarcerated in a Nazi insane asylum. Discovered after his death, it tells the tale -- often fierce, often poignant, often even extremely funny -- of a small businessman losing...

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Middle C

Middle C

MR William H Gass, PhD (Washington University Gallery of Art)

A literary event--the long-awaited novel, almost two decades in work, by one of the most revered American writers, author of the universally acclaimed The Tunnel and Omensetter's Luck. Gass investigates the nature of human...

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The Midnight Dress

The Midnight Dress

Karen Foxlee

When a teenage girl disappears, a small town is awash with rumours: everyone is talking about the dress she wore, a midnight-blue dress made from the remnants of other dresses, a dress of stories ...

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