After two separate catastrophes, two very different families leave the country for the bright lights of Perth. The Lambs are industrious, united, and—until God seems to turn His back on their boy Fish—religious. The Pickleses are gamblers, boozers, fractious, and unlikely landlords.
Change, hardship, and the war force them to swallow their dignity and share a great, breathing, shuddering house called Cloudstreet. Over the next twenty years, they struggle and strive, laugh and curse, come apart and pull together under the same roof, and try as they can to make their lives.
Winner of the Miles Franklin Award and recognized as one of the greatest works of Australian literature, Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's sprawling, comic epic about luck and love, fortitude and forgiveness, and the magic of the everyday.
Kate Grenville had always associated perfume with elegance and beauty. Then the headaches started.
Like perhaps a quarter of the population, Grenville reacts badly to the artificial fragrances around us: other people’s perfumes, and all those scented cosmetics, cleaning products and air fresheners. On a book tour in 2015, dogged by ill health, she started wondering: what’s in fragrance? Who tests it for safety? What does it do to people?
The more Grenville investigated, the more she felt this was a story that should be told. The chemicals in fragrance can be linked not only to short-term problems like headaches and asthma, but to long-term ones like hormone disruption and cancer. Yet products can be released onto the market without testing. They’re regulated only by the same people who make and sell them. And the ingredients don’t even have to be named on the label.
This book is based on careful research into the science of scent and the power of the fragrance industry. But, as you’d expect from an acclaimed novelist, it’s also accessible and personal. The Case Against Fragrance will make you see—and smell—the world differently.
When I was little, my mother had a tiny, precious bottle of perfume on her dressing-table and on special occasions she’d put a dab behind her ears. The smell of Arpege was always linked in my mind with excitement and pleasure–Mum with her hair done, wearing her best dress and her pearls, off for a night out with Dad.
When I got old enough to have my own special occasions I also had my favourite perfume. I loved the bottles: those sensuous shapes. I loved the names and the labels, so evocative of all things glamorous.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian’s Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History. Kate lives in Sydney and her most recent works are the non-fiction books One Life: My Mother’s Story and The Case Against Fragrance.
‘One spritz of aftershave or perfume can leave other people retching and clutching their heads—you never see that in the ads.’ Kaz Cooke
‘Beginning with her own physical reaction to fragrance that begins with a headache a lot of us know ourselves, she investigates the fragrance industry and its side-effects and interweaves these facts with the personal to create an accessible work of non-fiction.’ ArtsHub
‘Fact-dense and extensively referenced, the book is a delight to read and never gets bogged down...While some of the science has been simplified, the book generally conveys the sense of it correctly...Well developed and thoughtful. Read The Case Against Fragrance and you will never think about fragrance in the same way again. If you have been suffering fragrance in silence, you will know you are not alone.’ Conversation
‘Grenville sets out to unlock the dark science—the volatile compounds, conspiracies and carcinogens—hiding in perfume, the ingredients of which are regularly listed as alcohol, water and the mysterious catch-all “fragrance”.’ New Statesman
‘In this appealingly written exploration, Kate uncovers the dark side of the fragrance industry, from the carcinogens in after-shave to the hormone disruptors in perfume that mimic oestrogen.’ Child
‘An insightful and frightening book.’ Readings
‘Readable, interesting and informative.’ Big Book Club
‘Grenville expresses hope though that our society will find solutions to the fragrant violation of personal space based on courtesy and civility rather than on regulation and policy.’ Australian Book Review
‘You may be familiar with Australian novelist Kate Grenville’s work but she enters new territory here. After exposure to perfumes and scents delivered ill-health her way, Grenville got curious as to why...The result is a fascinating (and worrying) exposé of the potentially damaging health effects of fragrances and the laxity of their regulation. Grenville digs into the science of scent as well as the intrigue of a multi-billion-dollar industry and makes it beautifully accessible in the process.’ WellBeing
‘The Orange Prize-winning novelist’s discovery that she reacts badly to the artificial fragrances all around us led her to investigate what is in fragrances, what it does to people and whether it is properly tested for safety...The result is this accessible and personal book on the science of fragrance’ Bookseller
‘[Grenville] raises valuable questions about the potentially harmful chemicals surrounding us every day and why we so unabashedly live in ignorance of them.’ Reader’s Digest UK, Best New Books to Read This Summer
‘In some places, though, the danger [of fragrance] is beginning to be taken as seriously as passive smoking 30 years ago...it sounds silly, until you read Kate Grenville’s explosive exposé and wonder why no one ever told you this stuff before.’ Mail on Sunday
‘An accessible, intelligent, seriously researched—and terrifying—book’ Daily Mail UK
Elegantly and compassionately told, The Idea of Perfection is reminiscent of the work of Carol Shields and Annie Proulx and reveals Kate Grenville as "a writer of extraordinary talent" (The New York Times Book Review).
New York Times Book Review—Notable Fiction 2002
Entertainment Weekly—Best Fiction of 2002
Los Angeles Times Book Review—Best of the Best 2002
Washington Post Book World—Raves 2002
Chicago Tribune—Favorite Books of 2002
Christian Science Monitor—Best Books 2002
Publishers Weekly—Best Books of 2002
The Cleveland Plain Dealer—Year’s Best Books
Minneapolis Star Tribune—Standout Books of 2002
Once upon a time, when the earth was still young, before the fish in the sea and all the living things on land began to be destroyed, a man named William Buelow Gould was sentenced to life imprisonment at the most feared penal colony in the British Empire, and there ordered to paint a book of fish. He fell in love with the black mistress of the warder and discovered too late that to love is not safe; he attempted to keep a record of the strange reality he saw in prison, only to realize that history is not written by those who are ruled.
Acclaimed as a masterpiece around the world, Gould’s Book of Fish is at once a marvelously imagined epic of nineteenth-century Australia and a contemporary fable, a tale of horror, and a celebration of love, all transformed by a convict painter into pictures of fish.
Installing himself within the household of the genteel grocer Percy Buckle, Maggs soon attracts the attention of a cross section of London society. Saucy Mercy Larkin wants him for a mate. The writer Tobias Oates wants to possess his soul through hypnosis. But Maggs is obsessed with a plan of his own. And as all the various schemes converge, Maggs rises into the center, a dark looming figure, at once frightening, mysterious, and compelling. Not since Caleb Carr's The Alienist have the shadowy city streets of the nineteenth century lit up with such mystery and romance.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the penal colony of Sydney Cove, Australia, at the farthest reaches of the late-nineteenth-century British Empire, Lieutenant Ralph Clark has received a bizarre commission. In honor of the king’s birthday, Clark is charged with staging a production of the George Farquhar comedy The Recruiting Officer using as cast and production crew the highwaymen, whores, cutpurses, killers, and other assorted disreputables exiled there from the British Isles. Pining over the family he left behind, Clark must work miracles with only two printed scripts, a company of unstable and largely illiterate “actors,” and the dubious assistance of his colleagues. But the success—or failure—of the mammoth enterprise rests largely on the shoulders of lead actress Mary Brenham, the mesmerizing and enigmatic female convict to whom Clark finds himself strangely and dangerously attracted.
Based on the lieutenant’s real diaries, The Playmaker is a truly remarkable achievement. Atmospheric, dreamlike, and richly evoking time and place, featuring a monumental cast of magnificently drawn, unforgettable characters, it is a work of insight, imagination, and true genius by one of the most notable names in historical fiction.
“An intimate exploration of human connection and our responsibility to one another.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Sebastian Barry's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture, Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century. The Secret Scripture is now a film starring Rooney Mara, Eric Bana, and Vanessa Redgrave.
Bobby Wabalanginy is a young Noongar man, smart, resourceful, and eager to please. He befriends the European arrivals, joining them as they hunt whales, till the land, and establish their new colony. He is welcomed into a prosperous white family, and eventually finds himself falling in love with the daughter, Christine. But slowly-by design and by hazard-things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is progressing. Livestock mysteriously start to disappear, crops are destroyed, there are "accidents" and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever-stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind, and Bobby is forced to take sides, inexorably drawn into a series of events that will forever change the future of his country.
That Deadman Dance is inevitably tragic, as most stories of European and native contact are. But through Bobby's life, Kim Scott exuberantly explores a moment in time when things could have been different, when black and white lived together in amazement rather than fear of the other, and when the world seemed suddenly twice as large and twice as promising. At once celebratory and heartbreaking, this novel is a unique and important contribution to the literature of native experience.
In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentlemen's club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet in private. The rendezvous forestalled by a sudden murder, Lord John will wade into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. . . . In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by the nocturnal visitations of a deadly woman who sucks life and soul from a man. Called to investigate the night-hag, Lord John finds a murdered soldier and a treacherous Gypsy, and comes to the stark realization that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. . . . In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the deadly case of an exploding battlefield cannon. Wounded in the same battle, Lord John is called to tesify and soon confronts his own ghost—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty's armed forces.
Capturing the lonely, tormented, and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honor, and his own secrets, Diana Gabaldon delivers breathtaking human drama. And in tales seething with desire, madness, and political intrigue, Gabaldon once again proves that she can bring history to life in a way few novelists ever have.
From the Hardcover edition.
Set in the dramatic landscape of Western Australia, Dirt Music tells the story of Luther Fox, a broken man who makes his living as an illegal fisherman—a shamateur. Before everyone in his family was killed in a freak rollover, Fox grew melons and counted stars and loved playing his guitar. Now, his life has become a “project of forgetting.” Not until he meets Georgie Jutland, the wife of White Point’s most prosperous fisherman, does Fox begin to dream again and hear the dirt music—“anything you can play on a verandah or porch,” he tells Georgie, “without electricity.” Like the beat of a barren heart, nature is never silent. Ambitious and perfectly calibrated, Dirt Music resonates with suspense, emotion, and timeless truths.
In Australia at the turn of the twentieth century, Jimmie Blacksmith is desperate to figure out where he belongs. Half-Anglo and half-Aboriginal, he feels out of place in both cultures. Schooled in the ways of white society by a Protestant missionary, Jimmie forsakes tribal customs, adopts the white man’s religion, marries a white woman, and seeks a life of honest labor in a world Aborigines are normally barred from entering. But he will always be seen as less than human by the employers who cheat and exploit him, the fellow workers who deride him, and the wife who betrays him—and a man can only take so much. Driven by hopelessness, rage, and despair, Jimmie commits a series of savage and terrible acts of vengeance and becomes something he never thought he’d be: a murderer, a fugitive, and, ultimately, a legend.
Based on shocking real-life events, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is a powerful tale of racism, identity, intolerance, and murder from the celebrated bestselling author of Schindler’s List, Thomas Keneally. This magnificent historical novel remains a stunning, provocative, and profoundly affecting reading experience.
Miles Franklin began the candid, passionate, and contrary My Brilliant Career when she was only sixteen, intending it to be the Australian answer to Jane Eyre. But the book she produced-a thinly veiled autobiographical novel about a young girl hungering for life and love in the outback-so scandalized her country upon its appearance in 1901 that she insisted it not be published again until ten years after her death.
After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child. She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave. But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar. Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat—the town’s only policeman, who harbors an unusual passion for fabrics—and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on a darker design: exacting revenge on those who wronged her, in the most spectacular fashion.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
By 1938, hundreds of Italian intellectuals, lawyers and journalists, university professors and scientists had escaped Mussolini’s fascist government and taken refuge in Paris. There, amid the struggles of émigré life, they founded an Italian resistance, with an underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story.
Paris, a winter night in 1938: a murder/suicide at a discreet lovers’ hotel. But this is no romantic traged–it is the work of the OVRA, Mussolini’s fascist secret police, and is meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazione, a clandestine émigré newspaper. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and secured a job as a foreign correspondent with the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor.
Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the last campaign of the Spanish civil war. But as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Sûreté, by agents of the OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder.
The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Carlo Weisz and a handful of antifascists: the army officer known as “Colonel Ferrara,” who fights for a lost cause in Spain; Arturo Salamone, the shrewd leader of a resistance group in Paris; and Christa von Schirren, the woman who becomes the love of Weisz’s life, herself involved in a doomed resistance underground in Berlin.
The Foreign Correspondent is Alan Furst at his absolute best–taut and powerful, enigmatic and romantic, with sharp, seductive writing that takes the reader through darkness and intrigue to a spectacular denouement.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this powerful and riveting novel reminiscent of Liane Moriarty's Truly, Madly, Guilty, literary phenomenon Christos Tsiolkas unflinchingly exposes the inner workings of domestic life, friendship, and parenthood in the twenty-first century, and reminds us of the passions and malice that family loyalty can provoke. When a man slaps another couple’s child at a neighborhood barbecue, the event send unforeseeable shock waves through the lives of all who are witness to it. Told from the points of view of eight people who were present, The Slap shows how a single action can change the way people think about how they live, what they want, and what they believe forever.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This sweeping, irrepressibly inventive novel, is a romance, but a romance of the sort that could only take place in nineteenth-century Australia. For only on that sprawling continent--a haven for misfits of both the animal and human kingdoms--could a nervous Anglican minister who gambles on the instructions of the Divine become allied with a teenaged heiress who buys a glassworks to help liberate her sex. And only the prodigious imagination of Peter Carey could implicate Oscar and Lucinda in a narrative of love and commerce, religion and colonialism, that culminates in a half-mad expedition to transport a glass church across the Outback.
In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her enterée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Love, jealousy, family, freedom, commitment, and above all friendship: these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment, gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.
Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With the Neapolitan quartet she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.
'You could easily make a case that Andrew Greig has the greatest range of any living Scottish writer' - Scotsman
To poach a salmon, grouse and a deer from three Royal Estates.
Three men in a mid-life crisis who should know better.
The wild card
A flirtatious female journalist who won't take no for an answer.
Striding over the Scottish Highlands with a poet's eye on the wilderness and a firm grip on the adventure, Andrew Greig re-imagines John Buchan's classic novel with a little less tweed, a little more sex, and just the right measure of whisky.
On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.
So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing.
From the Hardcover edition.
A heartwarming and hilarious novel from the bestselling author of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe and The Queen of Wishful Thinking.
Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie have been friends since school. They day-dreamed of glorious futures, full of riches, romance and fabulous jobs. The world would be their oyster.
Twenty-five years later, Olive cleans other people's houses to support her lazy, out-of-work husband and his ailing mother. Roz cannot show her kind, caring husband Manus any love because her philandering ex has left her trust in shreds. And she and Frankie have fallen out big time.
But Ven is determined to reunite her friends and realise the dream they had of taking a cruise before they hit forty. Before they know it, the four of them are far from home, on the high seas. Can blue skies, hot sun and sixteen days of luxury and indulgence change their outlook on life?
It was a cloudless summer day in the year 1900. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of the secluded volcanic outcropping. Farther, higher, until at last they disappeared. They never returned. . . .
Mysterious and subtly erotic, Picnic at Hanging Rock inspired the iconic 1975 film of the same name by Peter Weir. A beguiling landmark of Australian literature, it stands with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as a masterpiece of haunting intrigue.
Max Skinner has recently lost his job at a London financial firm and just as recently learned that he has inherited his late uncle’s vineyard in Provence. On arrival he finds the climate delicious, the food even better, and two of the locals ravishing. Unfortunately, the wine produced on his new property is swill. Why then are so many people interested in it? Enter a beguiling Californian who knows more about wine than Max does—and may have a better claim to the estate. Fizzy with intrigue, bursting with local color and savor, A Good Year is Peter Mayle, beloved author of A Year in Provence, at his most entertaining.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
Steeped in myth and magical realism, Wright’s hypnotic storytelling exposes the heartbreaking realities of Aboriginal life. Carpentaria teems with extraordinary, larger-than-life characters who transcend their circumstances and challenge assumptions about the downtrodden "other." The novel "bursts with life" (Daily Telegraph) as Alexis Wright re-creates the land and its people with mysticism, stark reality, and pointed imagination.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
After traveling through Europe for two years, Scully and his wife Jennifer wind up in Ireland, and on a mystical whim of Jennifer's, buy an old farmhouse which stands in the shadow of a castle. While Scully spends weeks alone renovating the old house, Jennifer returns to Australia to liquidate their assets. When Scully arrives at Shannon Airport to pick up Jennifer and their seven-year-old daughter, Billie, it is Billie who emerges—alone. There is no note, no explanation, not so much as a word from Jennifer, and the shock has left Billie speechless. In that instant, Scully's life falls to pieces.
The Riders is a superbly written and a darkly haunting story of a lovesick man in a vain search for a vanished woman. It is a powerfully accurate account of marriage today, of the demons that trouble relationships, of resurrection found in the will to keep going, in the refusal to hold on, to stand still. The Riders is also a moving story about the relationship between a loving man and his tough, bright daughter.
Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked-out streets, illicit partying, and sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch tells the story of four Londoners—three women and a young man with a past—whose lives, and those of their friends and lovers, connect in tragedy, stunning surprise and exquisite turns, only to change irreversibly in the shadow of a grand historical event.
How much of ourselves must we give up to help a friend in need? Helen has little idea what lies ahead—and what strength she must muster—when she offers her spare room to an old friend, Nicola, who has arrived in the city for cancer treatment. Skeptical of the medical establishment, and placing all her faith in an alternative health center, Nicola is determined to find her own way to deal with her illness, regardless of the advice Helen offers.
In the weeks that follow, Nicola's battle for survival will turn not only her own life upside down but also those of everyone around her. The Spare Room is a magical gem of a book—gripping, moving, and unexpectedly funny—that packs a huge punch, charting a friendship as it is tested by the threat of death.
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.
Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.
A recipient of the 2015 American Book Award
One of the Top 10 Books of 2014 – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
Named a best book of the year by:
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
The Huffington Post
The Seattle Times
The Houston Chronicle
Kansas City Star
From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a “musical, electric, fantastically profane” (The New York Times) epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over the past three decades.
In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivaled skills of characterization and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling novel of dazzling ambition and scope.
On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumors abound regarding the assassins’ fates, and there are suspicions that the attack was politically motivated.
A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. James deftly chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – gunmen, drug dealers, one-night stands, CIA agents, even ghosts – over the course of thirty years as they roam the streets of 1970s Kingston, dominate the crack houses of 1980s New York, and ultimately reemerge into the radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Along the way, they learn that evil does indeed cast long shadows, that justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and that no one can truly escape his fate.
Gripping and inventive, shocking and irresistible, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a mesmerizing modern classic of power, mystery, and insight.
From the Hardcover edition.
A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.
Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.
But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.
As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Praise for Cloud Atlas
“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review
“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers
“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon
“Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”—Boston Sunday Globe
“Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”—Los Angeles Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Nothing since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road has shaken me like this.” —The Washington Post
From the author of the acclaimed Gould’s Book of Fish, a magisterial novel of love and war that traces the life of one man from World War II to the present.
August, 1943: Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life, in a brutal Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, is a daily struggle to save the men under his command. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.
A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of good and evil, of truth and transcendence, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
The Broken Shore, his eighth novel, revolves around big-city detective Joe Cashin. Shaken by a scrape with death, he's posted away from the Homicide Squad to the quiet town on the South Australian coast where he grew up. Carrying physical scars and more than a little guilt, he spends his time playing the country cop, walking his dogs, and thinking about how it all was before. But when a prominent local is attacked in his own home and left for dead, Cashin is thrust into what becomes a murder investigation. The evidence points to three boys from the nearby aboriginal community—everyone seems to want to blame them. Cashin is unconvinced, and soon begins to see the outlines of something far more terrible than a burglary gone wrong.
Winner of the Colin Roderick Award for Australian writing as well as Australia's major prize for crime fiction, the Ned Kelly Award, The Broken Shore is a transfixing and moving novel about a place, a family, politics and power, and the need to live decently in a world where so much is rotten.
From that moment, Lewis spirals into bereavement that has effects on his relationship with his wife, his psyche, and with time itself: "It was a wonder there could be so much movement, so much purpose, all the time. He himself had none."
Gordon Comstock despises the materialism and shallowness of middle-class life—the worship of money, the striving for dull, stuffy respectability. To live up to his ideals, he quits his lucrative position as an advertising copywriter and devotes himself to poetry and other high-minded pursuits.
But low-paid part-time employment and a constant shortage of cash is not exactly conducive to creativity and happiness. The stress even causes him to lash out at his devoted girlfriend, Rosemary, who he suspects of preferring a richer man. This sharply witty novel about the difficulties of idealism and the effects of financial strain is yet another outstanding read from the genius who brought us Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London, and other enduring works.
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?
Gaëlle de Barbet is sixteen years old in 1940 when the German army occupies France and frightening changes begin to occur. She is shocked and powerless when French gendarmes take away her closest friend, Rebekah Feldmann, and her family for deportation to an unknown, ominous fate.
The local German military commandant makes Gaëlle’s family estate outside Lyon into his headquarters. Her father and brother are killed by the Germans; her mother fades away into madness. Trusted friends and employees become traitors. And Gaëlle begins a perilous journey with the French Resistance, hoping to save lives to make up for the beloved friend she could do nothing to help.
Taking terrifying risks, Gaëlle becomes a valuable member of the Resistance, fearlessly delivering Jewish children to safety under the eyes of the Gestapo and their French collaborators. Then she is suddenly approached by the German commandant with an astonishing, dangerous plan to save part of France’s artistic heritage. Conducted in secret, flawlessly carried out, her missions will mark her for years, when she is falsely accused of collaboration at the end of the war. Orphaned and alone, she begins a new life in Paris, with the ghosts of the past always close at hand.
Gaëlle’s life will take her from Paris to New York, from a career as a Dior model to marriage and motherhood, unbearable loss, and mature, lasting love. She returns to Paris to run a small museum, honoring victims of the Holocaust. But her label as a collaborator remains, until her granddaughter, a respected political journalist, ensures that her grandmother’s brave acts are recognized. Now a grateful nation will finally absolve this remarkable woman and honor her as the war hero she was.
Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.
Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.
But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?
Each chapter concentrates on one aspect of writing: getting started, bringing characters to life, writing convincing dialogue, revising and writer's block, etc.
Exercises in each chapter are carefully structured so that each one builds on the one before. Examples from contemporary Australian writing demonstrate how different writers tackle the technical aspects of their art.
By working your way through this book, you'll gradually craft a piece of fiction, and develop confidence in your own fictional voice.
If you'd like to write, but you're not sure how to start, The Writing Book will show you how. If you're already writing, The Writing Book will give you practical ideas for new energy and direction.
April Taylor wasn't a little girl anymore -- but who was she really? The home she shared with her parents and her older sister, Brenda, may have been filled with turmoil, but it was the only home she knew. Now, with nowhere to go in the wake of losing her mother and father, April had to grow up fast as she embarked on an odyssey of heartbreak and betrayal. It was mere chance that led her to the secluded home of a kindly elderly woman and her deaf teenaged granddaughter, Echo. There, April found a shelter from her mixed-up life, and from the confusion that severed her relationship with Brenda, after an encounter with Brenda's girlfriend, Celia. But when a dangerous couple arrives with greedy intentions, April discovers they will take advantage of her very special friendship with Echo to get what they want. Now, April's survival depends on being true to the one person she's never fully accepted: herself.
The Harmony Silk Factory traces the story of textile merchant Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in British Malaya in the first half of the twentieth century. Johnny's factory is the most impressive structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny is a hero—a Communist who fought the Japanese when they invaded, ready to sacrifice his life for the welfare of his people. But to his son, Jasper, Johnny is a crook and a collaborator who betrayed the very people he pretended to serve, and the Harmony Silk Factory is merely a front for his father's illegal businesses. This debut novel from Tash Aw gives us an exquisitely written look into another culture at a moment of crisis.
The Harmony Silk Factory won the 2005 Whitbread First Novel Award and also made it to the 2005 Man Booker longlist.
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
With money from an inheritance, Laura sets off to see the world, eventually returning to Sydney to work for a publisher of travel guides. There she meets Ravi, now a Sri Lankan political exile who wants only to see a bit of Australia and make a living. Where do these two disparate characters, and an enthralling array of others, truly belong? With her trademark subtlety, wit, and dazzling prose, Michelle de Kretser shows us that, in the 21st century, they belong wherever they want to and can be--home or away.
Nora falls in love with Javo the junkie, and together they try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made. But caught in an increasingly ambiguous relationship, they are unable to let go - and the harder they pull away from each other, the tighter the monkey grip.
'A lyrical, rough-edged novel full of warmth and uncompromising feeling' The Sunday Age
A terrific tale of love and redemption that captivates from the first line.' Nicholas Shakespeare, author of The Dancer Upstairs
Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie, one of the Jangga tribe. Intrigued by Bo's claim that he holds the key to her future, Annabelle sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads back to her childhood and into the Jangga's ancient heartland, where their grandparents' lives begin to yield secrets that will challenge the possibility of their happiness together.
With the consummate artistry of a novelist working at the height of his powers, Miller convinces us that the stone country is not only a remote and exotic location in North Queensland, but is also an unvisited place within each of us. Journey to the Stone Country confirms Miller's reputation as one of Australia's most intelligent and uncompromising writers.
Miller's fiction has a mystifying power that is always far more than the sum of its parts . . . his footsteps - softly, deftly, steadily - take you places you may not have been, and their sound resonates for a long time.' Andrea Stretton, Sydney Morning Herald row, or even survive, with the terrible knowledge that comes into their possession at the end of their journey?
London, 1811. Along the twisting streets of Wapping, bounded by the ancient Ratcliffe Highway and the modern wonder of the London Dock, many a sin is hidden by the noise and glory of Trade. But now two families have fallen victim to foul murder, and Charles Horton, a senior officer of the newly formed Thames River Police Office, must deliver revenge to a terrified populace.
Plymouth, 1564. Young Billy Ablass arrives in the busy seaport with the burning desire of all young men: the getting and keeping of money. Setting sail on a ship owned by Queen Elizabeth herself seems the likely means to a better life. But the kidnapping of hundreds of human souls in Africa is not the only cursed event to occur on England’s first official slaving voyage. On a sun-blasted Florida islet, Billy too is to be enslaved.
Based on the true story of the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway murders, The English Monster is a breathtaking voyage across centuries, from the Age of Discovery to the Age of Empire, illuminating what happens to Britain as she gains global power but risks losing her soul.