Late

Michael Fitzgerald

Late
Format
Hardback
Publisher
Transit Lounge Publishing
Country
Australia
Published
1 October 2023
Pages
208
ISBN
9781923023024

Late

Michael Fitzgerald

‘So, was it hard to pretend I was “dead”? Well, my motivation was abundant; it was splendiferous, endless, you might say.’

An American actress, renowned for being late, is living with her two cats in a modernist clifftop apartment in Sydney in the late 1980s.

The recounting of her story is prompted by the arrival of an old typewriter and a book addressed to Zelda Zonk. And by the arrival of a young man called Daniel, who is locked out while house-sitting her neighbour’s apartment.

Together Zelda and Daniel form an unlikely but close bond as they go walking, prepare dinner for Shabbat, traverse Sydney Harbour on a ferry and talk about their lives. Part of their bond is the discovery that they are both orphans. Daniel is also a habitué of the nearby sandstone cliffs where men have mysteriously gone missing.

In Late, Michael Fitzgerald superbly captures the literary spirit and sensibility of an ageing woman and icon who has escaped celebrity. It is a haunting and lyrical novel about art, friendship, and confronting our fears.

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