Day 1: Letter to George Clooney
On the first day of Christmas, my literary love bought for me…
Debra Adelaide’s Letter to George Clooney!
Debra Adelaide’s short story collection Letter to George Clooney intricately maps both the sublime and the mundane landscape of ordinary lives, with her trademark dark wit and luminous intelligence.
Is this your perfect Christmas gift?
The 2014 Stella Prize judges said of Letter to George Clooney:
This is novelist Debra Adelaide’s first collection of short stories, and while readers will recognise her dry wit, quirky imagination and fundamental seriousness of purpose, it’s also clear that she has mastered the requirements of the short-story form. Adelaide’s sheer range is impressive, and there is no slick or same-y surface even to the most light-hearted of these stories… Across this wide range, Adelaide brings to her work a thoughtful craftsmanship that skilfully matches voice and tone to subject matter.
Here as in her previous books, Adelaide uses her fine technical skills in the service of powerful and committed social analysis, and focuses on the interconnectedness of public and private life.
Links and Media:
- Read Don Anderson’s review for the Sydney Morning Herald here.
- Read David Gaunt’s review for Books+Publishing here.
Debra’s recommendations: The best books by women she read in 2014
What the Ground Cannot Hold by Shady Cosgrove (Picador)
‘This was published in 2013 and has been strangely overlooked, for it’s a totally compelling story of several people, trapped in an avalanche, exploring their secrets and mistakes, and coping with traumas of the past. The powerful descriptive details and emotional dramas are persuasive, until the final page.’
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin)
‘This is such a beguiling, quirky and unusual book, in a style that reminded me of both Patrick White and Elizabeth Jolley. The story of elderly Ruth goes places the reader never expects, and the sly tone is so perfect that a tiger’s presence in her home is more than plausible, it seems inevitable.’
Have You Seen Simone? by Virginia Peters (Nero)
‘An unsolved case of presumed murder, of a young German tourist in Lismore, obsesses the author who seeks for answers where police and family members have failed or given up. Peters explores secrets and silences, and probes into the heart of family relationships in clear, honest and powerful prose that exposes herself as much as anyone else.’
After Darkness by Christine Piper (Allen & Unwin)
‘Winner of the Australian/Vogel award for 2014, this beautiful meditative novel focuses on the story of Japanese interned in South Australia in 1942. Identity, loyalty and honour are weighty themes but offered lightly in the story of a doctor forced to examine his own motives and finally revisit his past.’