Monday musings on Australian literature: Coming in 2015
Although my readerly eyes are always too big for my readerly brain, I do like to know about coming attractions – book-wise – and assume you’re interested too. If you’re not, apologies, but I know I’ll find this post useful to refer to as the year progresses. As I did last year, I’m basing this post on an article in The Australian by literary editor, Stephen Romei, followed by a little research of my own.
Here, according to Romei, are some of the fiction (and poetry) treats we can expect:
- Les Murray: Given I opened my recent Reading Highlights post with Murray, I like that Romei starts off with him too. Apparently, Black Inc will be publishing two books from Murray this year. The first, Waiting for the past, is apparently his first volume of new poems in five years. I think we heard some poems from this volume at the Poetry at the Gods event I attended last year. The second, Bunyah, is a collection of poems he has written about his home town. It apparently will have an introduction by Murray. And, Romei asks, “Might this be the year the Bard of Bunyah finally collects Australia’s second Nobel Prize in Literature. I wouldn’t mind having an early wager on him doing so”.
- Steven Carroll: Forever young (Fourth Estate, June), the next in his Glenroy series. Carroll jointly won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for fiction last year with Richard Flanagan.
- Stephen Daisley: Coming rain (Text Publishing, May). I was just wondering the other day what had happened to Daisley who won the Prime Minister’s Literary Prize in 2010 with his novel Traitor. Well, now I know!
- Marion Halligan: Goodbye sweetheart (Allen & Unwin, May). I’m a Halligan fan and reviewed her gorgeous Valley of grace early in this blog.
- Krissy Kneen: The adventures of Holly Whit and the Incredible Sex Machine (Text Publishing, May). Text describes it as “an amazing literary sci-fi superhero sex romp from Australia’s genre-bending queen of erotica”! Sounds intriguing, eh? I reviewed her Steeplechase a couple of years ago.
- Malcolm Knox: Wonder lover (Allen & Unwin, May), his fifth novel. He also has two non-fiction books coming out. Knox is probably most famously known for exposing the Norma Khouri hoax in 2004.
- Amanda Lohrey: A short history of Richard Kline (Black Inc, March). Lohrey is an acclaimed novelist and essayist, and can be relied upon to produce something thoughtful and, very likely, different.
- Frank Moorhouse: The book of Ambrose (Random House, November), about the second (and cross-dressing) husband of Edith Campbell Berry, heroine of Moorhouse’s Edith trilogy. I’ve reviewed Cold light, the last of this trilogy.
- Steve Toltz: Quicksand (Penguin Books, May). Toltz is another author I’ve been wondering about lately. I loved his “out there” A fraction of the whole, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize way back in 2008.
Romei’s article runs to 6 pages and includes Australian non-fiction, as well as fiction and non-fiction from overseas writers. I couldn’t possibly list them all, but I will note that some interesting sounding memoirs are coming out from Kate Grenville, Gerald Murnane, and Ramona Koval, among others. Caribbean-background author Maxine Beneba Clarke, whose Foreign soil was highly recommended in a comment on this blog by author Julie Twohig, has The hate race, a book about her experience of discrimination, coming out. It’s a real reader’s feast that awaits us.
While Romei mentions several debut novels in his article, I’d like to introduce two of my own gleaned from women I’ve come across via blogging and the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge:
- Robyn Cadwallader: The anchoress (Fourth Estate, early 2015. It’s historical fiction set in the 13th century, about a woman who commits herself to a life of prayer, rather than marry a wealthy lord. Cadwallader is an expert in mediaeval literature.
- Lizzy Chandler (pen-name of Elizabeth Lhuede, instigator and convener of the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge): Snowy River man (Escape Publishing, February 2015). This is in the romance genre, so not my preferred fare as Elizabeth knows, but in the spirit of the challenge’s commitment to diversifying our reading I’d like to give her a shout out here.
Finally, I wish good luck – because we all know that talent is only part of the equation in the “getting-published” game – to those out there working hard to get their first or next novel published.
Do any coming releases – either listed here or that you know about from elsewhere – appear on your must-read list for 2015?
(PS I’ll be getting back to reviewing soon!)