Shortlist year: 2009
Shortlist category: Fiction
Published by: Penguin Random House (Vintage)
Maya de Jong, an eighteen-year-old country girl from the West, comes to live in Melbourne and starts an affair with her boss, the enigmatic Maynard Flynn, whose wife is dying of cancer.
When Maya's parents, Toni and Jacob, arrive to stay with her, they are told by her housemate that Maya has gone away and no one knows where she is. As Toni and Jacob wait and search for Maya in Melbourne, everything in their lives is brought into question.
They recall the yearning and dreams, the betrayals and choices of their pasts - choices with unexpected and irrevocable consequences. With Maya's disappearance, the lives of all those close to her come into focus, to reveal the complexity of the ties that bind us to one another, to parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers.
About the author
Joan London is the author of two prize-winning collections of stories, Sister Ships, which won the Age Book of the Year in 1986, and Letter to Constantine, which won the Steele Rudd Award in 1994 and the West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction. These stories have been published in one volume as The New Dark Age.
Her first novel, Gilgamesh, was published in 2001, won the Age Book of the Year for Fiction and was long listed for the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Her second novel, The Good Parents, was published in 2008 and won the Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Joan London’s books have all been published internationally to critical acclaim.