Loopholes by Thirroul based author, Susan McCreery, is a collection of microfiction, or very short stories. Wiktionary.org defines the genre as, “Fiction that has a significantly shorter than average length.” Synonyms include drabble, flash fiction, flashfic, short-short story, sudden fiction and even twitterature.
Ben Elton set Three Summers in the southwest of W.A., at a fictional folk festival, Westifal. Over three consecutive summers, we meet an ensemble cast of characters, who bring to the festival campgrounds their individual stories and issues. Elton has described the film as "Australia in a tent".
Kate Liston-Mills sets her slim volume of short stories in her hometown of Pambula, on the far south coast of NSW. The metaphor in the opening story, Bound, is threaded through the volume: there is a "twine" that ties the waterfowl (and humans) to each other and to Pambula.
One ordinary morning, an image invades 67-year-old Abel Marvin's thoughts as he swims his laps: the "twisted, burned-out hulk of a wheelchair with two welded, gaping red and black skeletons". It's a scene that's haunted him for most of his adult life and he buries his face in the water to drown it.
The cover of Nicholas Jose’s Bapo, a 19th-century hand-fan, decorated with Chinese characters and a collage of contrasting patterns, catches the eye and invites the reader to open the book, to learn about its author and title, and to delve into the writing.
Patrick White won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1957 for Voss. A year later Randolph Stow won the award for To the Islands. He was 22-years-old and had already published two novels, A Haunted Land (1956) and The Bystander (1957) and a collection of award-winning poems.
As his earlier work on an Aboriginal mission informed the award-winning To the Islands, PNG left an indelible mark on Randolph Stow and was the basis for Visitants, although the novel was not published until 20 years after his return to Australia.
Joan O’Hagan was born in Australia, studied Latin, Greek and ancient history at university in New Zealand, and lived and worked overseas for the best part of her life – including 30 years in Rome, where she worked at the Australian Department of Immigration.
Vu Tran’s debut novel, Dragonfish, opens with a letter from a mother to her daughter, with whom she has lost contact. She recounts the first night of their escape from communist Vietnam, in a small, overcrowded boat, soon to be wracked by ‘thirst and hunger, sickness [and] death’.