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Good mothers are expected to be selfless. Artists are seen as selfish. So what does this mean for a mother with artistic ambitions? In Bad Art Mother, novelist Edwina Preston explores the conflict between creativity and the conventional expectations of femininity.
Set in Depression-era slums, this work of historical fiction explores class, marginalisation, and Queer identity at a time when social mores were oppressive and violence was rife.
Tracey Lien has captured the indomitable spirit of a particular class of Australians without resorting to well-worn cliches of migrant resilience, and the novel packs a real punch to the guts.
This startlingly original novel, like its eponymous mythical creature, contains many faces, twists and turns, and yet works cohesively as a story of great intrigue and black humour.
In late twenty-first century Australia, Tao-Yi and her partner Navin spend most of their time inside a hyper-immersive, hyper-consumerist virtual reality called Gaia. Grace Chan’s portrayal of life in a technopolis is refreshing in its quiet ambition.
The Furies are personifications of female anger and devastation, and this is the book equivalent of a hand-grenade lobbed at oppression. Our heroine is an abattoir worker and the metaphor is blunt force – but that is not an accident. Beaumont casts an unflinching look at how patriarchy manifests in poverty.
Anita Heiss has chronicled the story of one woman’s fight to maintain her dignity in a dramatically changing world. In so doing, Heiss has written a story for her people certainly, but she has also written a story for the nation.
Told with a kind of conversational intimacy – inviting the reader in, rationalising, second-guessing, accounting, defending, justifying – Jennifer Down inhabits the voice of a woman who has experienced a great deal of trauma, while evoking a history of south-east Melbourne from the 1970s into the present.
“At once confronting, chaotic and charming, The Bass Rock is a perplexingly brilliant novel that will challenge and test the reader. Set across multiple time periods, and with three distinct narrative voices throughout, the book blurs the line between the past and the present, the real and the imagined, the natural and the unnatural world.”
– 2021 Stella Prize Judges
A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing is fresh, contemporary and bold – and has been crafted with verve by its first-time author, Jessie Tu. The novel delves into the life of an Australian artist, but not the white, male character who often frequents literature.
Elizabeth Tan’s extraordinary imagination is on full display in Smart Ovens for Lonely People – a story collection that is astonishingly clever and witty, while also full of piercing insights into contemporary society.
Exploring the experiences of a First Nations community living on the outskirts of a rural town, Song of the Crocodile focuses on four generations of one family as a vessel to explore the insidious and generational impacts of racism, colonialism and violence.