Exploded View

Shortlist year: 2020

Shortlist category: Fiction

Published by: Text Publishing

In the late 1970s, in the forgotten outer suburbs, a girl has her hands in the engine of a Holden. A sinister new man has joined the family. He works as a mechanic and operates an unlicensed repair shop. The family is under threat. The girl reads the Holden workshop manual for guidance. She fights the man at the place where she believes his heart lives—in the engine of the car.

Spare, poetic and intensely visual, 'Exploded View' is the powerful new novel from one of Australia's most celebrated writers and winner of the inaugural Stella Prize.

About the author

 Carrie Tiffany

Carrie Tiffany

Carrie Tiffany spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in Central Australia. Her first novel, 'Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living' (2005), was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and won the Dobbie Award and the WA Premier's Award for fiction. 'Mateship with Birds' (2011) was also shortlisted for many awards including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and won the inaugural Stella Prize and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

Judges’ comments

Carrie Tiffany's intense short novel 'Exploded View' is an artful x-ray of a teenage girl's life in 1970s suburban Perth. The unnamed narrator shares her experiences in fragments, through the constantly spinning prism of her quirky mind. Her stream-of-consciousness switches between naivety and knowingness, and is electrified by Tiffany's honed, poetic prose. We see details of the girl's days at school, at home and in her stepfather's car repair shop. We glimpse obliquely her damage at his hands. In the novel's clever metaphor, we watch her escape mentally into the pages of a Holden manual and physically by taking cars on the road. She is at once a victim and a steely young woman bursting into her own sense of self. With psychological insight and ironic humour Tiffany builds a dark, thrilling, timeless vision of what it takes to be female.