Monday musings on Australian literature: New Australian releases for 2016
With the first month of 2016 already gone, I thought it was time I had a look around to see what new works are in the pipeline this year from our Aussie authors. This is a serendipitous list, partly because tracking down this information isn’t easy and partly because I’m more interested in providing a flavour than in being comprehensive. My main aim is simply to tantalise us all a little, so below you’ll find novels, short stories, poetry, essays and non-fiction. See what you think:
- Larissa Behrendt’s Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling (January 2016, University of Queensland Press) is a non-fiction work inspired by the story of Eliza Fraser, who was apparently captured by the Butchulla people after she was shipwrecked on their island in 1836. Fraser’s story has been fictionalised before. Behrendt springboards from Eliza’s story to explore how indigenous people in Australia and elsewhere have been portrayed in their colonisers’ stories.
- David Brooks’ Napoleon’s roads (February 2016, University of Queensland Press) is the fourth collection of short stories from this writer, who is a poet and prose writer.
- Maxine Beneba Clarke’s The hate race (August 2016, Hachette Australia) is a memoir by the author of the award-winning short story collection, Foreign soil. It’s the second of a three book deal she has with Hachette, the third one being a novel.
- Helen Garner’s Everywhere I look (March 2016, Text Publishing) is a collection of essays. I’ve reviewed here a few books by Garner, including a novel, Cosmo Cosmolino, a book of short stories, Postcards from Surfers, and a non-fiction work, This house of grief, but I haven’t read any of her essay collections. This might be the one.
- Patrick Holland’s One (April 2016, Transit Lounge) is an historical fiction about Australia’s last bushrangers. Known for his minimalist writing, Holland has written several works, including The Mary Smokes boys and Navigatio, both of which were shortlisted for various awards.
- Fiona McFarlane’s The high places (February 2016, Hamish Hamilton) is a collection of short stories from the author of the multiply-shortlisted The night guest, which I reviewed last year.
- Michelle Michau-Crawford’s Leaving Elvis (February 2016, University of Western Australia Publishing) is a debut collection of mostly, but not totally, linked short stories. Michau-Crawford is new to me but she won the Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize in 2013, so this collection sounds worth checking out.
- Meg and Tom Keneally’s The Soldier’s Curse (March 2016, Random House) is the first in The Monserrat Series (a new crime series). I wouldn’t normally include a crime book in a list like this because crime is not in my sphere of interest, but I’m including this one because it’s by Tom Keneally, who as you probably know is the Booker prize-winning author of Schindler’s ark, a Miles Franklin winning author, to name just a couple of accolades. And, also because it’s a collaborative novel with his daughter.
- Ellen van Neerven’s Comfort food (May 2016, University of Queensland Press) is a book of poetry by the author of the award-winning Heat and light and the short story Sweetest thing, both of which I’ve reviewed.
- Terri-Ann White’s Desert writing: Stories from country (February 2016, University of Western Australia Publishing) is something a little different. It’s a collection edited by White, comprising stories that resulted from writers’ workshops held with indigenous people in remote communities.
- Dominique Wilson’s That devil’s madness (February 2016, Transit Lounge) is a novel set in Algeria. It tells story of a photojournalist who, while covering current politics decides to also retrace the steps of her grandfather a century earlier. Wilson was a founding editor of the now defunct but much lamented literary journal Wet Ink. (For an advance review of this book, check out Lisa’s at ANZLitLovers.)
- Arnold Zable’s The fighter (April 2016, Text Publishing) is a biography of Henry Nissen, a boy from Melbourne’s Carlton who became a champion boxer but who now devotes his spare time to helping disaffected people on the streets. It’s also about his mother and her decline into mental illness. I’ve read a few of Zable’s novels, including The sea of many returns which I reviewed early in this blog’s life.
Steven Amsterdam, Ashley Hay, Toni Jordan and Hannah Kent, some of whose earlier books I have reviewed here, also have books coming out this year … Meanwhile, Text Publishing is continuing to put out its classics, and Fremantle Press is starting a Treasures series celebrating its 40 years of publishing. Nice to see backlists (or older works) continuing to get second lives.
Do any of these inspire or you? Or are there books coming up in your region or area of interest that you are keen to read.