Debut Australian fiction to read in March

We always love discovering new and exciting voices in books. Here are seven recent works of debut fiction from Australian writers.


new-animal

New Animal by Ella Baxter

It’s not easy getting close to people. Amelia’s meeting a lot of men but once she gets the sex she wants from them, that’s it for her; she can’t connect further. A terrible thing happened to Daniel last year and it’s stuck inside Amelia ever since, making her stuck too.

Maybe being a cosmetician at her family’s mortuary business isn’t the best job for a young woman. It’s not helping her social life. She loves her job, but she’s not great at much else. Especially emotion. And then something happens to her mum and suddenly Amelia’s got too many feelings and the only thing that makes any sense to her is running away.


friends-and-dark-shapes

Friends and Dark Shapes by Kavita Bedford

A group of friends moves into a share house in Redfern. They are all on the cusp of thirty and big life changes, navigating insecure employment and housing, second-generation identity, online dating and social alienation-and one of them, our narrator, has just lost her father.

How do you inhabit a space where the landscape is shifting around you, when your sense of self is unravelling? What meaning does time have in the midst of grief?


hold-your-fire-ss

Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson

The debut of an unforgettable new voice in Australian fiction, Hold Your Fire exposes the battles we wage beneath the surface. The title story takes us into the cold war of a contemporary family: a missile-making mother doubts her husband’s guts and the steel of her son, until a playground incident escalates and brings them into the most surprising of alliances.

Needle-sharp, effortlessly surprising and beautifully controlled, every tale will pin you to the page. At each turn, Chloe Wilson offers a unique insight, a tear in the veil of our moral certainties. Her stories strip away the varnish of our decency to reveal the raw mechanics beneath.


the-breaking

The Breaking by Irma Gold

Hannah Bird has just arrived in Thailand. Disoriented and out of her depth, she meets Deven, a fierce and gutsy Australian expat who sweeps her into thrilling adventures rescuing elephants. As they head deeper and deeper into the fraught world of elephant tourism, their lives become tangled in ways Hannah never imagined. But how far will they go to save a life?

Hannah is about to make a critical decision from which there will be no turning back, with shattering consequences. The Breaking is an extraordinary debut. Sharply observed and richly vivid, it is an intensely moving story about the magnetic bond between two young women and the enduring cost of animal exploitation.


chasing-the-mccubbin

Chasing the McCubbin by Sandi Scaunich

Set against the background of the early 1990s, Chasing the McCubbin is funny and sad in equal measure. The Pines, an outer Melbourne suburb down on its luck. A country in the grip of recession. Experienced collector Ron senses new possibilities: swift evictions provide hard-rubbish to scour and garage-sales have doubled. There’s only one problem: since losing his wife, Ron has struggled to navigate the suburbs alone. Plus, his deteriorating health slows him down.

This all changes through a chance meeting with Joseph, a troubled, withdrawn and unemployed 19-year old who knows nothing about antiques. As Joseph comes to understand and appreciate Ron’s world of eccentric bargain hunters, and hopefulness, his ability to navigate a history of family violence and to see a future for himself grows.


room-called-earth

A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan

A young woman gets ready to go to a party. She arrives, feels overwhelmed, leaves, and then returns. Minutely attuned to the people who come into her view, and alternating between alienation and profound connection, she is hilarious, self-aware, sometimes acerbic, and painfully honest.

And by the end of the night, she’s shown us something radical about love, loss, and the need to belong.


the-last-bookshop

The Last Bookshop by Emma Young

Cait is a bookshop owner and book nerd whose social life revolves around her mobile bookselling service hand-picking titles for elderly clients, particularly the grandmotherly June.

After a tough decade for retail, Book Fiend is the last bookshop in the CBD, and the last independent retailer on a street given over to high-end labels. Profits are small, but clients are loyal. When James breezes into Book Fiend, Cait realises life might hold more than her shop and her cat, but while the new romance distracts her, luxury chain stores are circling Book Fiend’s prime location, and a more personal tragedy is looming.

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New Animal

New Animal

Ella Baxter

$29.99Buy now

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