If you took a bird’s-eye view of Mount Barker, you’d see ordinary Australians living on their ordinary suburban blocks in an ordinary regional town. Get closer. Peer through a window.
You might see Nathan Long, obsessively recording the incessant bark of a neighbourhood dog, or the Wheeler family sitting down for a meal and trying to come to terms with a shocking discovery. If you listen, you may hear tales of fathers and their wayward sons, of widows who can’t forgive themselves, of children longed for and lost, of thwarted lust and of pure, incorruptible love.
Within the shadows is an unspeakable crime. Rebekah Clarkson has created a compelling, slow-burning portrait of a town in the midst of major change as it makes the painful transformation from rural idyll to aspirational suburbia. What looked like redemption is now profound loss. What seemed spiteful can now be forgiven. A novel in stories, Barking Dogs is an assured debut from one of Australia’s most respected storytellers.
Meet Me at the Intersection
Rebecca Lim & Ambelin Kwaymullina (Eds)
Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author’s unique, and seldom heard, perspective.
Pigface and Other Stories: Margaret River Press Short Story Competition 2018
Ryan O’Neill (Ed)
In the 2018 Margaret River Story Competition anthology, we take a voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of diverse characters – young and old, unsavoury and righteous, ordinary and bizarre.
Although seemingly unconnected, these stories are linked through the commonalities of the universal human experience. Tightly woven stories exploring the familiar threads of grief, regret and disillusionment are told in sometimes poignant, sometimes humourous – yet always illuminating – ways. The short stories in this collection will make you laugh, make you cry, and, hopefully, they will open your eyes to the world around you.
Planet Bastard Vol. 1
Brandon Young (Ed)
Planet Bastard Vol. 1 is a shared-universe anthology featuring some of the best emerging writers in Australia. The first volume is packed with fourteen stories, containing unforgettable heroes and villains entwined by one common thread: they’re stuck on the last habitable planet, which is slowly dying.
A thousand years after an event of catastrophic scale sent all remaining lifeforms flocking to Katecht, a frantic and long-fought war nears its end.
The rebel group known as the Iconoclast has struck a fatal blow to the reigning Confederacy. The world has been thrown into chaos. The Confederacy is vulnerable, but alive. And ripples are spreading through the nations.
This is where it all begins.
A young girl sees ghosts from her third eye, located where her belly button should be. A one-dimensional yellow man steps out of a cinema screen, hoping to lead a three-dimensional life. A journalist goes on assignment to report the latest food trend, which turns ice-cream eating into an extreme sport.
In Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh re-imagines our world with a dark, satirical twist. These twelve stories combine absurd humour with searing critiques on contemporary society – the rampant consumerism, the casual misogyny, the insidious fear of those who are different. Brilliantly clever and brimming with heart, this unforgettable collection is the work of a significant new talent.
The Worry Front: Short Fiction Collection
Through a multitude of distinct voices, Gildfind’s startling tales explore the absurd, macabre, surreal and too-real whilst wrestling with the irrevocable acts, immutable facts, and relentless uncertainties that lie at the dark heart of every life.
Trick of the Light
An art teacher sends four of her students on a guerrilla mission. A young runner struggles to make sense of his best friend’s death. A health-food company adopts a farcical promotional strategy. A factory worker spends her days applying radioactive paint to watches, while dreaming of a future with her new suitor. With a keen eye for detail and rich emotional insight, Laura Elvery reveals the fears and fantasies of everyday people searching for meaning. Ranging from tender poignancy to wry humour, Trick of the Light is the beguiling debut collection from one of Australia’s rising stars.
Women of a Certain Age
Jodie Moffat; Maria Scoda; Susan Laura Sullivan (Eds)
Fifteen very different life stories by women from all walks of life. From a woman who does not expect to live until puberty to teenagers with secret inner lives; from women who strive to belong to women who cannot wait to get away; from women surprised by the arrival of menopause to women embracing the unexpected freedoms of old age. Fifteen voices tell life stories of celebration, affirmation and survival about what it is like to be a woman on the other side of 40, 50, 60, 70.