2013 – the railwayman’s wife ~ ashley hay

railwayman“It could be any day, any year: call it 1935, 1938, 1945 or somewhere decades away in her future. Perhaps it’s the day after her wedding, the day after her daughter’s birth, the last day of the war, the last day of her life. Whenever it is, Anikka Lachlan is reading, swallowed by the shapes and spaces made by rows of dark letters on pale paper…”

I’m very grateful to be over at Newtown Review of Books today, writing about Ashley Hay’s The Railwayman’s Wife. If you’ve got a moment, go and take a look.

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I’m counting this as my third review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge this year.

2013 – just_a_girl ~ kirsten krauth

Today, I’m lucky enough to be over at Newtown Review of Books reviewing Kirsten Krauth’s debut novel, just_a_girl. Click here to take a look…

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One more thing: this is my second review for the 2013 Australian Women Writers Challenge. You know, it’s not too late to sign up

stellaaaaa!!! and other awards

notebookSo. Once again, I find myself struggling to find the time to keep up with blogging, reading, writing and my full-time job. Blah blah blah, the usual. It’s becoming abundantly clear that I’m going to have to take a step back from something. A little hint – it’s not going to be blogging, reading or writing…

Anyway. I wanted to write a very quick update to my previous review.

When I really love a book, it makes me very happy to see that book receive the recognition it so deserves. Hence, I was very pleased to see that Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds was named on the longlist for the inaugural Stella Prize. The shortlist will be announced at midday this Wednesday, and I’ll be online for the announcement, holding my breath.

(Edited to add: and here’s the Stella shortlistMateship with Birds made it! Brilliant!)

In the meantime, I’m reading a few other books from the longlist. I’m completely, utterly mesmerised by Amy Espeseth’s Sufficient Grace right now, and Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts is next on my Australian Women Writers reading list. After that, I’m reading Cate Kennedy’s Like a House on Fire.

As pleased as I was to see Mateship with Birds on the Stella longlist, I was overjoyed when it made the longlist for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction. And another of my favourite books of last year, Zadie Smith’s NW is also nominated. Many of the titles on the longlist are new to me but it’s such an exciting list. If only the pile of books I want to read wasn’t already so large it requires its own postcode, I’d read them all.

As a quick aside, I’m completely thrilled that my review of Mateship with Birds was selected as one of three winners of the Scribe Books Giveaway over on the Australian Women Writers Challenge blog. Thank you so much to the judge Annabel Smith, to Danielle, who was kind enough to nominate my review, to Elizabeth Lhuede – and huge congratulations to the other two winning reviewers.

Also on the subject of awards, Jessie Cole’s amazing debut novel Darkness on the Edge of Town made it to the shortlist of the ALS Gold Medal today, Brilliant news! I’ll be reviewing Darkness as soon as I can find the time – err, see the first sentence of this post.

And finally – the Miles Franklin Award longlist will be announced next week and it looks like exciting things are gearing up over at the Miles Franklin website.

Okay. Back to writing…

sunset

2012 – mateship with birds ~ carrie tiffany

I’m going to begin writing about books from the Sixties very soon – but before I do that, I need to take care of one very important piece of unfinished business. One final indulgence, before I get on with things…

As I mentioned at the end of this post, Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds was one of my favourite literary discoveries last year. Tiffany’s debut novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living is sitting on my shelf, unread and so very tempting, but I’m hesitant to pick it up just yet. Anyone who loves reading will surely understand my anxiety: when you discover a new author you love, it’s important to balance the compulsion to devour everything they’ve ever written with the crushing feeling of desolation once you’ve read all there is to read.

However, I have a feeling that the temptation just might get the better of me sooner than I think…

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