Shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize

A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories – Elizabeth Harrower

Fiction · Text Publishing

few days in the country

About the book

“This is a superlative collection, written with great clarity and precision and an understanding of the subterranean intensities of human interactions.

– 2016 Stella Prize Judges


About the author

Elizabeth Harrower

Further Reading

“This is the work of an activist in disguise as an entertainer. “How easily she had divested herself of the girl with interests and pleasant ways,” Harrower writes of one character, dispatching decades of her life. And in a later story comes this dagger: “She was shorter, pruned, slightly murdered.”

Time tried to do this to Elizabeth Harrower the writer. It failed, she survived, and these 12 tales are yet another reason why we ought to celebrate this near miss.” John Freeman, The Australian

“Despite her unremitting focus on the pain of existence, Harrower affirms, through the act of writing, that there is hope and that she has faith in the human spirit. The collection opens with the arresting image of lightning and a blackout: “And then … the lights … went out.” Its closing sentence reads: “She had learned.” In various ways, these stories chart a path through darkness to arrive, often, at moments of empowering self-awareness.” Bernadette Brennan, Australian Book Review


Read ‘No time for Lies’, an article about Elizabeth Harrower by James Wood, published in the New Yorker

Read about Elizabeth Harrower in the Guardian

Read a transcript of Elizabeth Harrow in conversation with Ramona Koval, published on the Monthly blog.

Judges’ report

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