Recommended Reads: July
Each month the TWC publishes four recommended reads on our website. Three of the recommendations are recent releases by a local Tasmanian writer, an Australian writer and a children’s writer. The fourth is a Tasmanian classic that you may not have got round to reading, or that you may not have read for a long time. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the recommended Tasmanian classic, please feel free to pop into the library at the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and borrow a copy from us.
This month we also have a great competition for you. We have one copy of Wood Green by Sean Rabin to give away, and one copy of Our Tiny Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan to give away. Drop our Community Engagement officer Ruth an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘July Reading Competition’ in the subject line, and let her know which book you’d like to be in the running for. Winners will be selected at random on Thursday July 28th and notified by email.
Tasmanian recent release: Wood Green, Sean Rabin (June 2016, Giramonda Publishing)
Born in Hobart, Sean Rabin has lived in Ireland, Italy, London and New York, but now resides in Sydney. It is to the foothills of Mount Wellington that Rabin returns for his debut novel Wood Green.
Wood Green follows the story of Michael Pollard, who has recently finished a PhD in Sydney and arrived in Tasmania to work as a secretary for Lucian Clarke, an internationally renowned author who also happens to be the subject of Michael’s thesis. Rabin charts their evolving relationship, while also painting a vivid picture of the quirky Tasmanian town and the characters within. This is smart writing, with a deftly executed plot twist.
Australian recent release: Our Tiny Useless Hearts, Toni Jordan (May 2016, Text Publishing)
Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards. Toni ran a workshop on plot for the Tasmanian Writers Centre in June 2016, and held a launch event for her most recent novel Our Tiny Useless Hearts at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart the same month.
Our Tiny Useless Hearts is a comedy about love and marriage – not just one marriage but three. It’s a witty and entertaining read with a highly emotional core, and Jordan’s excellent, elegant writing makes it a pleasure to read.
Children’s recent release: The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken, Anne Morgan (April 2016, Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)
Tasmanian children’s writer Anne Morgan won the Environment Children’s Book of the Year Award (Junior Fiction) 2014 for The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & Other Ecotales. She lives at Adventure Bay on Bruny Island, and often uses the unique Tasmanian landscape as inspiration for her writing.
The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken is the second book illustrated by Tasmanian Lois Bury and the first of Morgan’s. It tells the story of a shining bird who is captured by a beast, or Grolken. The Grolken wants the bird to sing, dance and light up his den, but the bird just wants to fly free. This is an enchanting book that carefully explores the themes of freedom and possession for younger children.
Tasmanian Classic: Vertigo, Amanda Lohrey (May 2009, Black Inc Publishing)
Amanda Lohrey is the author of acclaimed novels Camille’s Bread and the Morality of Gentlemen as well as the short story collection Reading Madame Bovary, which won two Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2011. In 2012, when Lohrey was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award, the judges praised her “outstanding contribution to Australian literature as a fiction writer and her distinguished work as an essayist”.
The novella Vertigo was published in 2009. Anna and Luke are a couple from the city who decide to abandon traffic jams and dinner parties in favour of quiet, coastal life. They believe the loss they are unable to talk of will be easier to process if they are surrounded by nature; Anna takes up gardening, while Luke develops a passion for birdwatching. But of course, even rural communities are exposed to violence and danger, and Lohrey writes with characteristic skill about the bushfire that rips through the landscape. This is a beautiful read about loss and resilience.