Nominated by:

The State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Publisher of nominated edition:

Hachette Australia


Garry Disher      

A dark and unsettling tale, set at the turn of the twentieth century, that will stay with you long after you finish reading – from a master of Australian literature.

Out in that country the sun smeared the sky and nothing ever altered, except that one day a scrap man came by . . .

Her name is scarcely known or remembered. All in all, she is worth less than the nine shillings and sixpence counted into her father’s hand. She bides her time. She does her work. Way back in the corner of her mind is a thought she is almost too frightened to shine a light on: one day she will run away.

About the author

Garry Disher  grew up on a wheat and wool farm in South Australia. He has an MA in Australian History and has lived, worked and travelled in England, Italy, Israel, the USA and southern Africa. In 1978 he was awarded a creative writing fellowship to Stanford University, where he wrote his first collection of short stories. Garry worked as a writing lecturer between the years 1980 and 1988, before becoming a full-time writer. He has published over fifty books, including short story collections, literary novels, writers’ handbooks and award-winning crime thrillers and children’s titles.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments:

This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book. Set in the Victoria country around the Great War era, it is dark and bleak and so sad, and yet has that glimmer of hope that might prevail at the end. Complete with the various Dickens type characters, the story really captures what was widespread poverty in the  rural back-blocks; where life was a struggle for so many, where people scraped a living, and barely made ends meet. The author should be proud of this novel; for us it is one of the best this year.

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