First Year

Kristina Ross

First Year
Allen & Unwin
18 June 2024

First Year

Kristina Ross

Winner of the 2024 The Australian/Vogel's Award for Young Writers.

At seventeen, Maeve is naively single-minded about pursuing a life in the theatre. After a rigorous audition process, she secures a position at one of the most competitive drama schools in the country. Leaving behind the security of her childhood home in Queensland, Maeve moves to Melbourne and devotes herself to the course.

The expectations of the faculty are made clear from the outset: to avoid failure, the process must be adhered to without question and, as the youngest student at the school, Maeve knows she must gain life experience in order to inhabit her roles. With the encouragement of her new classmates, Maeve explores the darker pockets of her personality, disastrously blurring the line between the characters she must play and herself.

For readers of Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors, First Year is a deeply intelligent and insightful exploration of creativity and performance, marking the entry of an audacious new literary talent.

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