Nominated by:

Auckland Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Random House New Zealand

The Bright Side of my Condition

Charlotte Randall    

2016 Longlist

“When the Captain find us stowaways and give us the choice between join the island or join the crew, all of us to a man cry island! island! So he put us ashore with a few provisions and a trypot and sail away.”

After escaping from the Norfolk Island penal colony on a sealing ship, Bloodworth and his three fellow convicts are left on a remote southern island by a captain who promises to pick them up in a year’s time.

It will be many years before they see another ship. During that time four men, with nothing in common but a desire to escape and a need to survive, live together in cramped and freezing isolation. Slangam believes hard work will see them through, Toper puts his faith in the Divine, Gargantua leans on his learning and Bloodworth watches – both his fellow felons and the inhospitable environment.

Based on the true story of four convicts who spent more than nine years on the Snares Islands in the early nineteenth century, Charlotte Randall’s latest novel is a powerful work of fiction.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Charlotte Randall’s first novel, Dead Sea Fruit, won the South East Asian/South Pacific section of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book and the Reed Fiction Award in 1995. Her second novel, The Curative, was joint-runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. What Happen Then, Mr Bones? was a finalist for the same award in 2005. Her latest novel, The Bright Side of my Condition, was a finalist for the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards Prize for Fiction. Randall was born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand, and now lives on Banks Peninsula near Christchurch.

Librarian’s Comments

Based on a true story, this novel about four convicts who escape from a Norfolk Island prison in the early 19th century is a riveting, powerful and intelligent read. It’s been in the top 5 of our most issued fiction, showing that our readers are fascinated as well.

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