Debut Australian fiction to read this month
We always love discovering new and exciting voices in books. Here are six recent works of debut fiction from Australian writers.
The Rabbits by Sophie Overett
How do you make sense of the loss of those you love most? Delia Rabbit has asked herself this question over and over again since the disappearance of her older sister, Bo. Crippled by grief, Delia and her mother became dysfunctional, parting ways not long after Delia turned eighteen.
Delia has managed to build a new life for herself and to create a family of her own. Only more and more that life is slipping: her partner, Ed, has gone, her daughter, Olive, is distancing herself, and, all of a sudden, in the middle of a blinding heatwave, her sixteen-year-old son, Charlie, disappears too. Suddenly what was buried feels close to the surface. Read our review here.
Locust Summer by David Allan-Petale
On the cusp of summer, 1986, Rowan Brockman’s mother asks if he can come home to Septimus in the Western Australian Wheatbelt to help with the harvest. Rowan’s brother Albert, the natural heir to the farm, has died, and Rowan’s dad’s health is failing. Although he longs to, there is no way that Rowan can refuse his mother’s request as she prepares the farm for sale.
This is the story of the final harvest - the story of a young man in a place he doesn’t want to be, being given one last chance to make peace before the past, and those he has loved, disappear.
She is Haunted by Paige Clark
In She is Haunted, renditions of the author search for recognition and connection, and, more than anything else, small moments of empathy. But in what world will she move beyond her haunted past and find empathy for herself?
With piercing insights into transnational Asian identity, intergenerational trauma and grief, the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships, the inexplicable oddities of female friendship, and the love of a good dog. Read our review here.
We Were Not Men by Campbell Mattinson
This is a story about love. About the love that nine-year-old twins Jon and Eden Hardacre have for their mum, for the creek that they swim in, for each other - this is the love that they trust, that’s clear and pure as sunlight, as honey, as water. But in the wake of a terrible accident, the boys have to grow up fast. They compete with each other to make the Olympic Games swimming squad, fall in love with the same girl, and begin to realise how complicated love can be and how it doesn’t always show itself in the ways that we expect. Read our review here.
Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards
The night Eva shared a smile with Pat, something started. Two weeks later, lying together in her bed, Pat said, ‘You can’t live your life saying you’ll get around to doing something you know will make you happy. You just have to do it.’
Eva didn’t know how devastating those words would turn out to be. Pat dies and the aftershock leaves Eva on unsteady ground. She is pregnant. And she has to make a choice. Suddenly, the world that she at times already questioned, her career, her roommates and friends, and life in the inner-city are all even harder to navigate.
Night Blue by Angela O'Keeffe
Night Blue is a debut novel like no other, a narrative largely told in the voice of the painting Blue Poles. It is a truly original and absorbing approach to revisiting Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner as artists and people, as well as a realigning our ideas around the cultural legacy of Whitlam’s purchase of Blue Poles in 1973. It is also the story of Alyssa, and a contemporary relationship, in which Angela O'Keeffe immerses us in the essential power of art to change our personal lives and, by turns, a nation.