Longlisted for the 2017 Stella Prize

The High Places – Fiona McFarlane

Fiction · Penguin Random House

The High Places

About the book

“These are richly observed stories about complex people and situations, told by a gifted writer.

– 2017 Stella Prize Judges

About the author

Fiona McFarlane

Further Reading

“It is one thing to abandon a story because it’s poorly written, quite another to stop because it’s too good. And yet that is what I did with Unnecessary Gifts from Fiona McFarlane’s debut collection of short fiction . . . The variousness of geographical setting in McFarlane’s stories suggests the roving modernist cosmopolitanism of Christina Stead or Michelle de Kretser . . . She seems equally at home in past and present, city and country; writing in the mode of dun-coloured realism or the ecstatic epiphanic . . . McFarlane reminds us the world revivified by the artist’s imagination, made strange and new, may be the only one in which we truly see.” Geordie Williamson, Weekend Australian

“The High Places is superb . . . It’s not just that McFarlane’s descriptions are beautiful prose, though they are. The High Places is more deliberate than that, and more intelligent. McFarlane strikes an emotional note on every page, whether it be humour or nostalgia or discomfort or joy . . . Each story feels fresh and original . . . Nothing is forced and the reason I can’t pick my favourite is that every one of the 13 stories is a winner.” The Saturday Paper 

“The stories in The High Places are highly polished and remarkably consistent in quality. (The design deserves comment too: like The Night GuestThe High Places has an elegant and whimsical cover, as attractive as the contents of the book.) Fiona McFarlane is clearly going to be a substantial presence in Australian literature and beyond.” Brenda Walker, The Monthly


Read an interview with Fiona McFarlane in the New Yorker

Read an interview with Fiona McFarlane about the craft of the short story

Listen to the recording of Fiona McFarlane discussing The High Places during an event at the 2017 Adelaide Writers’ Week

Read Brigid Delaney’s profile of Fiona McFarlane for the Saturday Paper

Visit Fiona McFarlane’s website

Judges’ report

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