Posted by: Lisa Hill | December 11, 2010

Good news about forthcoming books

The Australian is a travesty of a newspaper but it usually has interesting book reviews at the weekend, and Stephen Romei’s column A Pair of Ragged Claws,  is always worth reading.

Today I was very pleased to learn that next September Text will publish Kate Grenville’s third novel in the historical fiction trilogy which so far comprises The Secret River and The Lieutenant.  J.M. Coetzee will also have a new one out, amalgamating his Scenes from Provincial Life series – so I’d better get on and read Summertime before then!  Charlotte Wood, author of The Children and The Submerged Cathedral, has a new one coming too, and so has Frank Moorhouse, completing his League of Nations series.  It’s been ten years since I read Grand Days and Dark Palace and they were big books, so I hope I can remember enough of Edith’s adventures to make sense of Book Three without re-reading…

From Scribe’s Newsletter I find news of some interesting forthcoming debut novels: Peggy Frew’s House of Sticks, which won the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for an unpublished manuscript;  and Lisa Gorton’s first adult novel, Heritage.  However we’ll have to wait for Amy Espeseth’s debut novel, Sufficient Grace, that won the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript,  till 2012.

Text Publishing are offering an interesting mix of local and translated fiction.  In translation there will be The Messenger by Yannick Haenel, a story set around the Polish Resistance, and Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke (which I’m especially pleased to see because I’d like to read more Asian fiction).  I like the cheeky sound of Lesley Cannold’s debut novel, The Book of Rachael – it’s about the sister of one Jesus of Nazareth!  Craig Sherborne’s third book of memoirs, The Amateur Science of Love will be out in June.  Text is also re-issuing some neglected Australian and New Zealand classics, including Blue Skies (1976) by Helen Hodgman (1945 – ),  and Sydney Bridge Upside Down by Kiwi David Ballantyne (1928-1986).

(I’m also intrigued by Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer, because it’s about how celebrated authors, artists and composers discovered truths about the human mind before neuroscientists did.  Also with a neurological theme is British writer’s S.J. Watson’s debut novel  Before I Go to Sleep, about a woman who has lost her memory, retrieves a bit of it each day and then forgets it again).

And overseas, David Legend of a Suicide Vann is publishing a new novel called Caribou Island so there will be plenty to look forward to..


  1. Some good books, I’ve got the Vann waiting to be read, really looking forward to that, I really liked Legend of a Suicide, such a touching story, all the best Stu


    • Hmm, this is where living on The Far Side of the Planet is a bit of a trial. You and Tom already have this book in your hands, and here in Oz it’s not even available until next year…
      (And on top of that we have Summer to put up with, maybe I should pack my bags again…)


  2. I’ve been sent Caribou Island already – something tells me I’m going to be disappointed though! A new Grenville is a treat isn’t it – I’ll get hold of that one i.d.c.


    • Oh no, Tom, say it isn’t true!


  3. I get a little worried about second-novel syndrome – which few authors seem able to crack. I’ve no reason for expecting disappointment other than that though so here’s hoping


  4. I am glad to see another historical novel from Kate Grenville.


  5. I am going to buy the joint winners of the Australia/Vogel Award, to read over Christmas and New Year. Utopian Man by Lisa Lang and Night Street by Kristel Thornell. I love the paintings of Clarice Beckett and the Thornell novel is a fictional account concerning Beckett. The Utopian Man is based around the legendary E.W.Cole.


    • Hi Brendan, where have you found these books for sale?


      • I will probably buy them online direct from Allen and Unwin who always publish the Australian/Vogel award winners.


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