We All Lived in Bondi Then

Georgia Blain

We All Lived in Bondi Then
Scribe Publications
30 January 2024

We All Lived in Bondi Then

Georgia Blain

From the author of the multi-award-winning bestseller Between a Wolf and a Dog, a powerful collection of previously unpublished stories.

A sister is haunted by the consequences of a simple mistake. A daughter searches for certainty as her mother's memory degrades. An encounter at a house party changes the course of a life.

In We All Lived in Bondi Then, beloved Australian author Georgia Blain returns to her resonant themes of relationships and family, illness and health, love and death. Composed in Blain's final years, these nine stories grapple with large questions on a human scale, brimming with her trademark acuity, nuance, and warmth.


Shortly after she passed away at the end of 2016, Georgia Blain’s final novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction. The soul and passion of her writing now comes to us anew, this time revived through the release of We All Lived in Bondi Then, a collection of previously unpublished short stories Blain wrote between 2012 and 2015.

In ‘Australia Square’, a sister is haunted by a simple mistake, and by her own guilt as her brother suffers from the consequences. ‘Dear Professor Brewster’ explores a woman grappling with an inevitable future as she cares for her mother with Alzheimer’s. A couple’s relationship is put to the test when a power outage occurs in ‘Last Days’. And in the eponymous story, a woman clings onto a promise made at a party.

Imbued with loss, love, and a yearning for something beyond our grasp, We All Lived in Bondi Then is written with acuity and nuance, expertly weaving stories of tragedy with the very human fear of the unknowableness of the future. What’s so gripping about Blain’s stories is just how drastically life can change with a simple decision, or a person you never expected to meet, or learning unexpected news that turns your life upside down when the day before your life was completely normal. The balance between the mistakes we make and the circumstances that are beyond our control is complicated, and these notions can fill us with confusion, guilt, and sometimes anger.

Blain’s stories offer a lucid yet warm comfort to the pondering of these uncertain questions, and bring readers a sense of unity and intimacy with strangers, even fictional characters, who understand, struggle, and piece back together lives that are irreversibly transformed. Blain could see what we hold in our hearts, and still surprises us with her incredible insight and compassion.

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