A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice and 2017 Critics' Pick
At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable: she now weighs less than her neighbor’s retriever. As her body weakens, she describes the experience—the vulnerability and strength, the courage and humility, the anger and acceptance—of knowing she will soon die.
Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautiful memoir is a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: Taylor describes the tangle of her feelings, remembers the lives and deaths of her parents, and examines why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death.
Taylor’s last words offer a vocabulary for readers to speak about the most difficult thing any of us will face. And while Dying: A Memoir is a deeply affecting meditation on death, it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.
A heartbreaking story of love and loss set against the backdrop of a Japanese internment camp in Victoria during WW2.
Arthur Wheeler is haunted by his infatuation with a Japanese youth he encountered in the enemy alien camp where he worked as a guard during WW2. Abandoning his wife and baby son, Arthur sets out on a doomed mission to rescue his lover from forced deportation back to Japan, a country in ruins.
Thus begins the secret history of a soldier at war with his own sexuality and dangerously at odds with the racism that underpins the crumbling British Empire.
Four decades later Arthur is still obsessed with the traumatic events of his youth. He proposes a last reunion with his lost lover, in the hope of laying his ghosts to rest, but this mission too seems doomed to failure.
Like Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and Snow Falling On Cedars, My Beautiful Enemy explores questions of desire and redemption against the background of a savage racial war. In this context, Arthur's private battles against his own nature, and against the conventions of his time, can only end in heartache.
Cory Taylor is an award-winning screenwriter who has also published short fiction and children's books. Her first novel, Me and Mr Booker, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Pacific Region). She lives in Brisbane.
'Taylor has crafted her novel superbly. The pace is measured, and the restraint, particularly in the later stages of the book, lends My Beautiful Enemy its emotional punch...A moving and accomplished novel that explores fascinating untold lives from our past.' Sydney Morning Herald/Age/Canberra Times
'Black humour is cunningly tangled with moments of sheer emotional devastation; Taylor crafts sentences of such sharpness and insight that I was forced to pause at moments to bask in the prose. My Beautiful Enemy is a heartfelt and beautifully written novel about love and war for readers of exquisitely crafted literary fiction.' Australian Bookseller and Publisher
'An almost unbearably beautiful story about longing and secret lives in which grief and joy turn out to be much the same thing.' Robert Dessaix
'Longing, desire, fear, confusion and self-delusion are all expressed with finesse and subtlety in a distinctive, memorable voice and assured, elegant prose.' Caroline Baum, Booktopia
'This is a beautifully told story of love, longing and the war within.' The Hoopla
‘Reminiscent of a Kazuo Ishiguro novel...a love story that is tender and original.' Readings Monthly