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The Best Australian Stories 2014

Author: Amanda Lohrey
Publisher: Black Inc.
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‘The art of the story is mostly about the journey, and the economy of means with which the writers here carry us a great distance is at times breathtaking.’ – Amanda Lohrey In The Best Australian Stories 2014, Patrick White Award–winning author Amanda Lohrey selects the outstanding short fiction of the year. Sometimes fantastical, sometimes raw, and always a ‘shot of adrenaline to the mind and heart’, this collection features exciting new voices alongside the established and admired. The edges of reality blur in a corporate lawyer’s tale of working in a 1200-storey glass tower. A prized coffee table becomes the focus of a father’s anxieties and frustrations. Tense and fractured lines of communication shape the life of an interpreter on Christmas Island. Imaginative, remarkable, intimate – this unmissable anthology celebrates the art of consummate storytelling. Julienne Van Loon • Shaun Prescott • Lucy Neave • Anthony Panegyres • Nicola Redhouse • Edwina Shaw • Claire Corbett • Fiona Place • Kate Elkington • Arabella Edge • Claire Aman • Angela Meyer • J.Y.L. Koh • Rebekah Clarkson • Ryan O'Neill • Mark Smith • Anna Krien • David Brooks • Leah Swann • Kirsten Tranter • Lisa Jacobson • Melanie Joosten


The Best Australian Stories 2015

Author: Amanda Lohrey
Publisher: Black Inc.
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Some readers are drawn to the promise inherent in a novel, and it’s true that the longer form can offer a slow and seductive immersion, but the short story offers pleasure of another kind – the quick fix, a shot of adrenaline to the mind and heart.—Amanda Lohrey In The Best Australian Stories 2015, Amanda Lohrey, winner of the Patrick White Award and author of the acclaimed novel A Short History of Richard Kline, curates twenty pieces of exceptional short fiction. In this wide-ranging collection, there are stories that will surprise, unsettle and beguile readers. Familiar subjects are examined from new perspectives: a teenage girl sneaks into a famous film director's study and steals his diaries; the life of Picasso is reimagined in miniature vignettes. And new life is breathed into the most universal of experiences: birth, death, love and loss. The mother of a girl with hearing difficulties watches her child grow into increasing independence. A young woman makes a poignant voyage to the site of her brother’s suicide. Elegant, accomplished and evocative, these short stories move, delight and inspire. Goldie Goldbloom • John A Scott • Claire Corbett • Cate Kennedy • Melissa Beit • Colin Oehring • Gay Lynch • Eleanor Limprecht • Julie Koh • Jo Lennan • Omar Musa • Ryan O'Neill • Sarah Klenbort • Jo Case • Balli Kaur Jaswal • Jennifer Down • Nick Couldwell • Nicola Redhouse • Annette Trevitt • Mark Smith


The Best Australian Stories 2017

Author: Maxine Beneba Clarke
Publisher: Black Inc.
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In The Best Australian Stories, acclaimed writer Maxine Beneba Clarke brings together our country’s leading literary talents. Herself an award-winning short-story writer, Beneba Clarke selects exceptional stories that resonate with experience and truth, and celebrate the art of storytelling. Previous contributors include Kate Grenville, Tony Birch, David Malouf, Kirsten Tranter, Anna Krien, Georgia Blain, Peter Goldsworthy, Fiona McFarlane, Elizabeth Harrower, Ryan O’Neill and Romy Ash. Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. In 2015 her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Best Literary Fiction and the Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her critically acclaimed memoir, The Hate Race (2016), was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award, the Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Stella Prize. She is also the author of a picture book, The Patchwork Bike (2016), several poetry collections, and is a contributor to the Saturday Paper.


Something Special Something Rare

Author: Black Inc.
Publisher: Black Inc.
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Something Special, Something Rare presents outstanding short fiction by Australia’s finest female writers. These are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and the extraordinary. A sleepy town is gripped by delusory grief after the movie being filmed there wraps and leaves. A lingering heartbreak is replayed on Facebook. An ordinary family walks a shaky line between hopelessness and redemption. Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling in ways that only a great short story can. Kate Grenville * Mandy Sayer * Penni Russon * Favel Parrett * Tegan Bennett Daylight * Sonya Hartnett * Isabelle Li * Gillian Essex * Brenda Walker * Gillian Mears * Fiona MacFarlane * Joan London * Karen Hitchcock * Charlotte Wood * Tara June Winch * Cate Kennedy * Alice Pung * Anna Krien * Delia Falconer * Rebekah Clarkson


Portable Curiosities

Author: Julie Koh
Publisher: Univ. of Queensland Press
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A biting collection of stories from a bold new voice. A young girl sees ghosts from her third eye, located where her belly button should be. A corporate lawyer feels increasingly disconnected from his job in a soulless 1200-storey skyscraper. And a one-dimensional yellow man steps out from a cinema screen in the hope of leading a three-dimensional life, but everyone around him is fixated only on the color of his skin. Welcome to Portable Curiosities. In these dark and often fantastical stories, Julie Koh combines absurd humour with searing critiques on modern society, proving herself to be one of Australia's most original and daring young writers.


The Best Australian Science Writing 2014

Author: Ashley Hay
Publisher: NewSouth
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The annual collection celebrating the finest Australian science writing of the year. Why are Sydney’s golden orb weaver spiders getting fatter and fitter? Could sociology explain the recent upsurge in prostate cancer diagnoses? Why were Darwinites craving a good storm during ‘The Angry Summer’? Is it true that tuberculosis has become deadlier over time? And are jellyfish really taking over the world? Now in its fourth year, this popular and acclaimed anthology steps inside the nation’s laboratories and its finest scientific and literary minds. Featuring prominent authors such as Tim Flannery, Jo Chandler, Frank Bowden and Iain McCalman, as well as many new voices, it covers topics as diverse and wondrous as our ‘lumpy’ universe, the creation of dragons and the frontiers of climate science.


A Long Time Coming

Author: Melanie Joosten
Publisher: Scribe Publications
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 NIB: WAVERLEY LIBRARY AWARD FOR LITERATURE A powerful collection of essays exploring what it means to grow old in our youth-obsessed world To live a long life should be a joy; to be old should not be a burden. With improved health care and higher standards of living, each generation is living longer than the last. Governments see our ageing population as an imminent disaster, and old age as a medical problem. We are encouraged to remain active, stay healthy, and work longer — in short, to refuse becoming old. But if living longer is really about staying young, do we risk turning a blind eye to issues facing the elderly? Weaving interviews with research and memoir, Joosten undertakes a timely and clear-sighted investigation into the housing crisis as it affects older people, the politics of nursing-home care, the difficulties of dementia, support services for Indigenous Australians, and how the burden of caring for others can fall disproportionately on women. Moving, passionate, and urgent, A Long Time Coming is a call for empathy in a society that valorises youth and self-reliance — a profound reminder that everyone has the right to be old. PRAISE FOR MELANIE JOOSTEN ‘[A] fine collection … shows deep commitment and quite profound levels of insight and compassion.’ The Weekend Australian ‘Heartening … [Joosten has] a novelist's feel for the texture of life.’ The Sydney Morning Herald


Gravity Well

Author: Melanie Joosten
Publisher: Scribe Publications
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Lotte is an astronomer who spends her nights peering into deep space rather than looking too closely at herself. When she returns to her hometown after years in South America, reeling from a devastating diagnosis, she finds that much has changed. Lotte’s father has remarried, and she feels like an outsider in the house she grew up in. She’s estranged from her former best friend, Eve, who is busy with her own life, and unsure of how to recover the closeness they once shared. Initially, Lotte's return causes disharmony, but then it is the catalyst for a much more devastating event — an event that will change Lotte and Eve's lives forever. If families are like solar systems — bodies that orbit in time with one another, sometimes close and sometimes far away — what is the force that drives them? And what are the consequences when the weight of one planet tugs others off course? The long-awaited second novel from the award-winning Melanie Joosten, Gravity Well is a striking and tender tale of friendship and family: both the family we are born to, and the family we choose. Deeply compassionate and profoundly moving, it is a heartrending portrait of how we rebuild when the worst has happened. PRAISE FOR MELANIE JOOSTEN Masterfully constructed … Though there is loss at the centre of Gravity Well, Joosten knows that the most urgent observations about life come from making sense of the unfathomable. This is a carefully crafted, emotionally cathartic novel. Our journey away from suffering, Joosten suggests, begins with our movement towards each other.’ The Weekend Australian ‘[Joosten’s] characters are faced with all the complexity of the modern world, and sometimes the decisions they make turn out to be wrong. Watching them face the consequences makes for riveting reading … This is the work of an elegant and vital novelist, someone fully engaged and grappling with the multitude of difficulties involved in the way we live now.’ The Sydney Morning Herald


The Best Australian Yarns

Author: Jim Haynes
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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Best Australian Yarns is a substantial and definitive collection of factual and fanciful Aussie stories, humor and anecdotes—the result of decades of researching popular Aussie culture and history and yarning to mates and other colorful characters from all parts of Australia and all walks of life. This collection includes tall stories from the bush, reminiscences from the racetrack and shearing shed, railway yarns, stories from the world of show business, Aboriginal legends and humor, digger yarns from both world wars, ghost stories, monsters, bunyips, and yowies... and many things you never knew about our amazing history and the characters who made it—the pioneers, heroes, convicts, bushrangers, eccentrics, and brave and forgotten men and women whose fascinating lives and achievements created the Aussie spirit that we all love. While the stories range from poignant to hilarious, many simply describe unusual coincidences, strange occurrences, or simple everyday humorous events with a refreshing understatement that vividly evokes a vanishing Australia where looking for a good laugh was a key component of a cheekier national character and a simpler lifestyle.


Australia s Best Unknown Stories

Author: Jim Haynes
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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Not only are there many things we don't know, we should never be too sure about the things we are sure we do know.' From Jim Haynes, one of our most successful and prolific tellers of yarns and bush tales, comes this collection of classic Australian stories: the unknown, the forgotten, the surprising. Jim reminds us that things are not always as they seem, or as we've been told. Was the Ghan really named after the Afghan cameleers? Does that urn that represents that greatest of all sporting clashes between Australia and England really contain the ashes of a burnt cricket bail? And who really is the most important Australian who ever lived? Jim introduces us to the forgotten nation builders, artists, poets and great unknown characters of Australian history and tells the funniest, the most amazing and the quirkiest stories that capture the heart and soul of the Australian spirit.