Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 13, 2016

Book Giveaway: The Last Days of Ava Langdon, by Mark O’Flynn

The Last Days of Ava Langdon

I wonder how many readers are familiar with the name of Eve Langley?  Langley (1904-1974),  was a novelist and poet who was born in Australia but spent some of her working life in New Zealand.   Like Kylie Tennant, she travelled extensively in the rural backblocks to get material for her writing, and she did it without the protection of a man.  In her most famous novel The Pea Pickers (1942) (which I read before I started this blog) she told the story of two female itinerant farm workers who disguised themselves as men.  According to  Wikipedia, her novels belong to a tradition of Australian women’s writing that explores the conflict between being an artist and being a woman.

Well, author Mark O’Flynn has taken the life of Eve Langley and used it to create a novel, and yes, you lucky readers, thanks to UQP (the University of Queensland press) I have a copy to give away.

This is the blurb:

It’s been twenty years since Ava Langdon published her much-lauded novel The Apple Pickers, but today could very well be the day her genius is finally recognised again. Armed with a freshly completed manuscript, a yellow cravat and a machete, Ava strides out into the world in the hope of being published – and so the adventure begins. Despite being dismissed as an eccentric – or worse – by the world around her, and battling poverty and age, Ava’s internal world remains vivid; her purpose, clear.

Author Mark O’Flynn first learned about legendary Blue Mountains writer and recluse Eve Langley when he stumbled across her abandoned hut outside the small town of Leura. Though he moved on to other projects, Langley’s voice stayed with him: ‘Why did she change her name (by deed poll) to Oscar Wilde? Why the romantic preoccupation with her past? So little is known of her final days.’ O’Flynn’s fascination with her life eventually led to the creation of the irrepressible Ava Langdon.

Rich in wordplay and colourful anecdote, The Last Days of Ava Langdon is an intimate, witty and soulful conjuring of a once-great artist in her final days, which will leave the reader questioning – what passion would sustain you if everything was lost?



Be in it to win it!  Anyone with an Australian postal address is eligible.  Please indicate your interest in the Comments box below and I’ll select a winner using a random generator round about the end of this month.

All entries from readers with an Australian postcode for delivery will be eligible but it is a condition of entry that if you are the winner, you must contact me with a postal address by the deadline that will be specified in the blog post that announces the winner.   (I’ll redraw if this deadline isn’t met).

Good luck everybody!


  1. Please count me in – sounds interesting. Thanks to all concerned.


  2. I’m in! I only hope he’s done poor old Eve justice.


  3. Count me in too, please. If I win I’ll send it to Bill (wadholloway)!


    • Gee thanks Michelle. – This is not a set up, honestly Lisa!


      • Share the love!
        (But you’ve got to win it first, and there ain’t no messing about with a random number generator, you know!)


  4. Ava sounds a fascinating character – would love to read it. Thanks Lisa


  5. Sounds like a great character story, put me in the barrel.


  6. Pick me pick me pick me….. Please


  7. Sounds fascinating. I used to live in Leura so I’d love to read about this part of its history. Thanks for the chance to win and read.


    • Well done, Maree, I’ll be drawing this giveaway this weekend….


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