A Stolen Season

Shortlist year: 2019

Shortlist category: Fiction

Published by: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan


Adam's life has been ruined by war...A veteran of the Iraq conflict who has suffered such extensive bodily trauma that he can only really survive by means of a mechanical skeleton. Marianna's has been ruined by men...A woman who has had to flee the country after her husband lied to the wrong people. John Philip's by too much money...Until he receives a surprise inheritance in the evening of his own life. Rodney Hall presents the story of three people experiencing a period of life they never thought possible, and, perhaps, should never have been granted at all...

About the author

 Rodney Hall

Rodney Hall

Rodney Hall is one of our foremost authors. He left school at sixteen for family reasons, already determined to become a writer and to educate himself by experience. Two years later he was called up for National Service. Afterwards, he set out to walk around Europe. He was thirty-one when he enrolled at university, where he studied while supporting himself as an ABC radio actor and scriptwriter. He has won two Miles Franklin Awards, his novels have been widely published and translated into many languages, and he has been twice presented with the gold medal of the Australian Literature Society.

Judges’ comments

Rodney Hall's A Stolen Season interleaves three provocative stories of characters who are grasping at life from extremis: an Australian soldier severely wounded in Iraq survives in a mechanical exoskeleton and renegotiates his collapsed marriage; a wealthy bachelor wields an inherited art collection against social propriety; and a dance teacher seeks salvation from her husband's crimes in the mysticism of Mayan culture. In a finely balanced narrative pyramid, the links between stories are subtle, sinister, and finally devastating. Hall's chiselled sentences glint with controlled anger and wit, satirising Kafkaesque institutions of power while intimately depicting the victims of war, greed, corruption, and fateful decisions. A master novelist, Hall portrays the intersection of global issues and human nature in a complex, moving work that teases and troubles the reader long after the book ends.