Aus­tralian fic­tion

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

ANNA Fun­der’s Miles Franklin win­ner All That I Am was the lo­cal novel of the year and de­servedly so. It’s a grip­ping story of anti-Hitler ac­tivists in Ger­many and Europe in the lead-up to World War II, and what hap­pened to those who sur­vived to end up liv­ing in far­away places such as Syd­ney. So­phis­ti­cated, page­turn­ing hol­i­day read­ing. Favel Par­rett’s Past the Shal­lows, the Miles Franklin run­ner-up, is a deeply mov­ing story of three moth­er­less brothers try­ing to sur­vive life, and their an­gry fa­ther, on Tas­ma­nia’s re­mote coast. Read it at Christ­mas and be re­minded why chil­dren are to be cher­ished. OK, so Cold Light is not the warm­est ti­tle, but the third and fi­nal book in Frank Moor­house’s League of Na­tions se­ries is a mas­ter­piece. It’s set mainly in Can­berra, but I’m as­sured they do have sum­mer there, too. Ma­jok Tulba’s as­ton­ish­ing novel of child soldiering, Be­neath the Dark­en­ing Sky, is con­fronting and nec­es­sary. It has been such a stand­out cou­ple of years for Aus­tralian fic­tion that I have to men­tion a few more: Alex Miller’s Au­tumn Laing, Kate Grenville’s Sarah Thorn­hill, Char­lotte Wood’s An­i­mal Peo­ple, Gil­lian Mears’s Foal’s Bread, Christo­pher Koch’s Lost Voices, Mark Dapin’s Spirit House, Mal­colm Knox’s The Life (what’s more sum­mer than a surf­ing novel?), Janette Turner Hospi­tal’s for­mi­da­ble Forecast: Tur­bu­lence, Michelle de Kretser’s Ques­tions of Travel, Toni Jor­dan’s Nine Days, Paul Carter’s Vo­gel win­ner Eleven Sea­sons and, if you’d like to dis­cover a promis­ing new writer, Ed­wina Shaw’s Thrill Seek­ers. And as men­tioned ear­lier, it wouldn’t be Christ­mas with­out the an­nual Bryce Courte­nay novel: his 21st and fi­nal book is Jack of Di­a­monds and con­cludes with a heart­felt af­ter­word by the au­thor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.