Six recommended new Australian novels

Our booksellers recommend six new Australian novels this month, from much-loved established authors as well as exciting newcomers.


Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Too Much Lip is a darkly comic story of modern Aboriginal life. Carlton bookseller George Delaney says: ‘I loved Too Much Lip, and read it almost in one sitting. Lucashenko combines sexy, foul-mouthed and charming comedy with moving and incisive representations of contemporary Goorie politics and struggles, again making land and property a central issue. This is a novel about violence – colonial, domestic and social – and redemption. It had me biting my nails as the characters mustered for a fight while wrangling their demons.’

Read the full review here


Inappropriation by Lexi Freiman

This wildly irreverent take on the coming-of-age story turns a search for belonging into a riotous satire of identity politics. Marketing and events coordinator Ellen Cregan says: ‘While this novel has the personality of an American satire, it is not devoid of warmth. Every character seems to take a stereotype and turn it totally on its head. 15-year-old Ziggy is an excellent heroine – she is uncertain, pubescent, extremely serious and unwittingly hilarious. This is a sharply humourous social commentary, and one of the strongest Australian debuts I have read in quite some time.’

Read the full review here


A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer

This haunting and genre-crossing novel brings together the story of a dying Melbourne man who runs away to a remote Scottish isle to eschew his responsibilities, and that of a young Scottish woman coming of age in the nineteenth century. Carlton bookseller Tristen Kiri Brudy says: ‘Tackling hot-button issues such as feminism, forbidden desires, self-destruction, abandonment, gender, mental health, and social boundaries, this book is bound to challenge and confront the modern-day reader. … If you care about the future of Australian fiction, look no further.’

Read the full review here


The Book of Ordinary People by Claire Varley

In her latest novel, Claire Varley is the story of five ordinary people, the stories they tell and the ways their lives intersect. Our St Kilda shop manager Sharon Peterson says: ‘Using fragments from the journals, emails and articles of her characters at the start of each chapter, Varley explores the political and social issues of our times. The Book of Ordinary People is a heart-warming and thought-provoking novel that reminds us to value what matters most – our families, our friends and humanity as a whole.’

Read the full review here


The Biographer’s Lover by Ruby J. Murray

When a young writer is hired to put together the life of an unknown artist from Geelong she thinks it will be just another quick commission paid for by a rich, grieving family obsessed with their own past. But Edna Cranmer was not a privileged housewife with a paintbrush and as the biographer is pulled into Edna’s life, she is confronted with the fact that how she tells Edna’s past will affect her own future. Event manager Chris Gordon says: ‘Murray’s second, evocative novel could be considered a coming-of-age story, but it is also about how and why we respond to art.’

Read the full review here


Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

For this novel, Laura Elizabeth Woollett has chillingly reimagined the story of Jim Jones’ religious cult, the Peoples Temple, infamous for the mass-suicide of nearly a thousand people in 1978. Malvern bookseller Susan Stevenson says: ‘In order to write Beautiful Revolutionary, Laura Elizabeth Woollett spent years researching the Jonestown massacre. She interviewed surviving members of the People’s Temple and the families of those who died, creating an in-depth portrait of an era and one of its most extreme manifestations.’

Read the full review here

Find more new Australian fiction by browsing the collection below.

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A Superior Spectre

A Superior Spectre

Angela Meyer

$29.99Buy now

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