On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the...
Young Hugh Dixon believes he can save his father from ruin if he asks his estranged great-uncle Walter – a wealthy lawyer who lives alone in an inherited Tasmanian farmhouse – for help. As he is drawn into Walter's rarefied world, Hugh discovers that both his uncle and the farmhouse are links to a notorious episode in the mid nineteenth century. Dramatic, insightful and evocative, Lost Voices is an intriguing double narrative that confirms Koch as one of our most significant and compelling novelists.
A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.
Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.
When her lover dies suddenly, all Catherine has left is her work. In an act of compassion her manager at London's Swinburne Museum gives her a very particular project: a box of intricate clockwork parts that constitute a nineteenth-century automaton, a beautiful mechanical bird. It's an object made of equal parts magic, love, madness and science, a delight that contains the seeds of our age's downfall. When Catherine discovers the diary of the man who commissioned it, one obsession merges into another.
Tom and Jordy have been living with their gran since the day their mother, Loretta, left them on her doorstep and disappeared. Now Loretta’s returned, and she wants her boys back. Tom and Jordy hit the road with Loretta in her beat-up car. The family of three journeys across the country, squabbling, bonding, searching and reconnecting. But Loretta isn’t mother material. She’s broke, unreliable, lost. And there’s something else that’s not quite right with this reunion. This beautifully written and gripping debut is as moving as it is frightening, and as heartbreaking as it is tender.
'Waiting' is a story of two odd couples.
Big is hefty cross-dresser and Little is little. Both are long used to the routines of boarding house life in the inner suburbs of Melbourne but Little, with the prospect of an inheritance, is beginning to indulge in the great Australian dream. Little's cousin Angus is a solitary man who designs lake-scapes for city councils, and strangely constructed fireproof houses. Angus meets Jasmin, an academic who races in ideas as much as her runners.
Ava Langdon is often not herself. Having fled her early life in New Zealand and endured the loss of her children, she now lives as a recluse in the Blue Mountains. Regarded by locals as a colourful eccentric, she dresses in men’s clothes and fearlessly pursues her artistic path.All that matters to Ava is her writing. Words offer beauty and a sense of possibility when so much has been lost. But can they offer her redemption in her last days?Poetic, poignant, and at times bitingly funny, this novel takes us into the mind of a true maverick.
Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.
Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.
As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.
Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, expert on concrete and modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life, he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the...
In Their Brilliant Careers, Ryan O'Neill has written a hilarious novel in the guise of sixteen biographies of (invented) Australian writers. Meet Rachel Deverall, who discovered the secret source of the great literature of our time - and paid a terrible price for her discovery. Meet Rand Washington, hugely popular sci-fi author (of Whiteman of Cor) and inveterate racist. Meet Addison Tiller, master of the bush yarn, "The Chekhov of Coolabah", who never travelled outside Sydney.Their Brilliant Careers is a playful set of stories, linked in many ways, which together form a memorable whole.