Posted by: Lisa Hill | September 24, 2021

Book Giveaway winner: The Dogs, by John Hughes

Time to draw the winner for the giveaway offer for John Hughes’ new novel The Dogs, published by Upswell.  You can read about the genesis of the novel here at the SMH.

About the book:

Michael Shamanov grapples with the idea of his mother’s life and her desire to finish it. Perhaps it’s her life he has been running away from and not his own.

“The story of a life is a secret as life itself. A life that can be explained is no life at all.” — Elias Canetti

Is it possible to write about the living without thinking of them as already dead?

Michael Shamanov is a man running away from life’s responsibilities. His marriage is over, he barely sees his son and he hasn’t seen his mother since banishing her to a nursing home two years earlier. A successful screen writer, Michael’s encounter with his mother’s nurse leads him to discover that the greatest story he’s never heard may lie with his dying mother. And perhaps it’s her life he’s been running away from and not his own. Is the past ever finished? Should we respect another’s silence? And if so, is it ever possible to understand and put to rest the strange idea of family that travels through the flesh?

From the Miles Franklin shortlisted author of No One comes a haunting gem of family secrets and impossible decisions.

About the author:

John Hughes is based in Sydney. He has published six books, all acclaimed and highly awarded, including the National Biography Award and Premier’s Book Awards. His previous novels, The Remnants and Asylum were critically acclaimed, and in 2019, No One was shortlisted in the Miles Franklin Award 2020, and you can read my review of it here.

Praise for The Dogs:

“John Hughes’ writing is intelligent, delicate and otherworldly, his narrator bumbling, contrary and oddly endearing. A novel in which the past and the present twine, and the vastness of history crystalises in one man’s troubled here and now. 

Michael Shamanov, son of war survivors, inheritor of nameless devastation, drily humorous admitter of his own failings, is presented with a last-chance opportunity to find love and mercy as they must exist in his world – imperfectly.

A stealth manoeuvre of the emotions. Beautifully restrained, deeply moving”
Peggy Frew

These were the entries for the giveaway:

  1. Pam from Travellin’ Penguin
  2. Diana Blackwood
  3. Jennifer from Tasmanian Bibliophile at Large
  4. Ted Witham from Mind Journeys
  5. Karenlee Thompson
  6. Fay Kennedy
  7. Annette Marfording
  8. Liz Dorrington
  9. Kelly Mihai
  10. Christine Lee

The numbers went into the random number generator at and up came No 7. Congratulations to Annette! Please provide me with your postal address, and confirm to me at anzlitloversATbigpondDOTcom that it’s ok for me to pass it on to Upswell Publishing so that they can send you the book.

If you missed out this time, there’s still a current giveaway for Book Giveaway: The Sweetest Fruits, by Monique Truong, also from Upswell Publishing. 


  1. Congrats to Annette!


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