Monday musings on Australian literature: Some New Releases in 2017
This is the last of what seems to have become my set of end-of-year-beginning-of-year posts – and it’s about, as if you couldn’t tell, the books that will be published this year. Obviously, I can’t list them all – even if I could know them all – but it’s fun to share a few that look interesting.
Now, luckily for me, part of my work has already been done by Elizabeth Lhuede who posted coming releases by Australian women writers on our challenge blog. I don’t plan to repeat that here because you can check it out there – though I may highlight one or two of particular interest to me. This means, of course, that my list – mostly drawn, like Elizabeth’s, from an article by Jane Sullivan in the Sydney Morning Herald – will primarily feature men (because, yes, I do read them too.) And, because this is a Monday musings on Australian literature post, the list will be further filtered to include just Australian authors.
Authors I’ve read before
- Alex Miller’s The passage of love (Allen & Unwin). Miller had said he’d finished writing novels, but clearly not, and a good thing too (though on this blog I’ve only reviewed his Lovesong).
- Kim Scott’s Taboo (Picador, August). That deadman dance , which I’ve reviewed here, is for me one of those unforgettable books. I wonder if this one will be too? By the way, Fremantle Press is re-releasing Scott’s first Miles Franklin winning book, Benang, in its Treasures series.
- Ouyang Yu’s Billy Sing (Transit Lounge, April). This is about a “half-Chinese Gallipoli hero” so very different I expect to the book I’ve reviewed here, Diary of a naked official.
Authors I haven’t but maybe should have read before
- Steven Carroll’s A New England affair (Fourth Estate, September). The final book in his six-part Glenroy series chronicling life, from the 1950s, in an outer Melbourne suburb.
- Brian Castro’s Blindness and rage: A phantasmagoria (Giramondo. April). Castro is one of the shameful gaps in my reading to date.
- John Kinsella’s Old growth (Transit lounge, February). A short story collection.
- Stephen Lang’s Winderran (UQP, July). An author I don’t know much about, but I should because he’s won and/or been shortlisted for some significant awards.
- Adrian Mitchell’s The beachcomber’s wife (Wakefield Press, January). Another author I’m not greatly aware of but he writes literary historical fiction (and non-fiction), so I clearly should be!
- AS Patric’s Atlantic black (Transit Lounge, October). By the middle of the year I’ll be able to move this to the “authors I’ve read” category as I will be reading his Miles Franklin award-winning Black rock, white city in a few months.
- Alex Skovron’s The man who took to his bed (Puncher and Wattman, May). A collection of short stories from a multiply-published poet.
- Chris Womersley’s City of crows (Picador, September). Hmm, about 17th century witchcraft apparently.
Debut authors – so I can’t have read them before
- Charlie Archbold’s Mallee Boys (Wakefield Press, May). I’m determined to visit the Mallee this year (I’ve only touched its edges before) so this may be the book for me.
- Michael Fitzgerald’s The Pacific room (Transit Lounge, July). It’s about Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa.
- Dennis Glover’s The Last Man in Europe (Black Inc., July). Another historical fiction about a well-known character, this time it’s Orwell and his writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Tony Jones apparently has a political thriller coming out with Allen & Unwin later in the year. I normally wouldn’t have mentioned this – given there’s no title and it’s not really a key genre for me – but Jones is well-known in Australia (unlike most of these debut authors) for his work on television as a political commentator and current affairs show anchor. (Sullivan lists a number of crime and thriller books coming out, so if you’re interested do check out the article link above).
- Gordon Parker’s In Two Minds (Ventura, April). Parker is the founder of the Black Dog Institute, and Sullivan describes this book as “a rollicking tale of mental illness”!
- Peter Polites’ Down the Hume (Hachette, March). He’s described as “the new Tsiolkas or Luke Davies” so this is likely to be urban and gritty.
Some women writers I must mention
- Bernadette Brennan’s biography. A writing life: Helen Garner and her work (Text, April). A high priority for me. I hope it’s as book as Karen Lamb’s biography of Thea Astley.
- Rebekah Clarkson’s Barking dogs (Affirm Press). A bit of an anomaly in this list as I don’t know Clarkson, but she is apparently an accomplished short story writer, and I do like Affirm Press.
- Sara Dowse’s As the lonely fly (For Pity Sake, May?). Dowse, like Farmer below, hasn’t published for some time so it’s great to see a new work coming out. I’ve reviewed her Schemetime here.
- Beverley Farmer’s These waters: Five tales (Giramondo, July). I read and loved her back in the 1980s to early 1990s. This is a collection of short stories.
- Kate Grenville’s The case against fragrance (Text, February). Listed by Sullivan under “politics and big issues”! Sounds interesting.
- Marilla North’s book on Dymphna Cusack, whom I’ve reviewed here a couple of times, is well due I think.
- Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck (Transit Lounge, March). I so enjoyed Rawson’s imaginative A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists that I’m intrigued to so what she comes up with next.
- A web of friendship (Miegunyah Modern Library from the University of Melbourne, February), which contains selected letters of Christina Stead, and Loving words (Brandl and Schlesinger, June), containing letters between Vance and Nettie Palmer. Both of great interest.
- Alexis Wright’s Tracker Tilmouth: An essayed memoir (Giramondo, October). Essayed memoir? Is that how I should have described Fiona Wright’s and Georgia Blain’s memoirs last year? Anyhow, this is about an indigenous activist.
Do you actively look out for coming releases, or just wait until they appear and you read or hear about them?