The life to come

About the book

Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

Taboo

About the book

Taboo tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar's descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife's dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.

First Person

About the book

A young and penniless writer, Kif Kehlmann, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl proposes a deal: $10,000 for Kehlmann to ghost write his memoir in six weeks. As he writes, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghost writing a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Siegfried Heidl—and who is Kif Kehlmann?

Border Districts

About the book

Conceived as Gerald Murnane's last work of fiction, Border Districts was written after the author moved from Melbourne to a small town on the western edge of the Wimmera Plains, near the border with South Australia. The narrator of this fiction has made a similar move, from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is a time for exploring the enduring elements of his experience, as these exist in his mind, not as an integral landscape now, but as image-fragments.

A Long Way From Home

About the book

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive. This thrilling, high-speed story is often funny and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture—the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way.

Mateship with Birds

About the book

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...

Lost Voices

About the book

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.

Questions of Travel

About the book

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.

The Chemistry of Tears

About the book

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.

Floundering

About the book

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.
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