As we rush into the Christmas season (where did this year go?), make time for our second last Opening Pages for the year because it’s a cracker combining fiction and non-fiction. We are lucky to be hosting yet another Stella Prize winner, Carrie Tiffany, who won the first ever Stella with Mateship with Birds. She will be talking about her new book Exploded View which the Guardian has described as one of the most important books of the year. Set in the 1970s, it follows a ‘girl’ living in the outer suburbs. With an absent father, a strange new man joins the family and operates an unlicensed repair shop from their home. Under threat, from his sinister presence, the girl starts reading the Holden workshop manual for guidance. Unsettling, spare, poetic, this is a powerful work from one of our most awarded authors. Joining her will be academic and author Julienne van Loon talking about her book, The Thinking Woman. While this is a work of non-fiction, Julienne has written three critically acclaimed novels. In this book, Julienne puts women into the heart of the philosophy conversation. She discusses the work of leading international women thinkers as well as interviews them about topics such as friendship, play, love, work and fear. The book is an exchange of ideas that link the personal and the political, challenging us all about how we live our lives. This should be a fascinating discussion with two brilliant authors so please join us at 7pm on 6 November for a glass of wine or something softer. RSVPs as usual by Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone on 90174748 or in store. We’d love to see you there.
Thanks to all who turned out for our inaugural Sunday Stories event. We were delighted to welcome Heather Rose to the shop and what a fantastic event was had by all. Heather is not just a brilliant writer but a great speaker. We have signed copies of Bruny and Museum of Modern Love in store and can recommend both titles to you. Look out for more Sunday Stories next year.
Exciting news with the Booker being announced this morning and to everyone’s suprise there wasn’t one winner but two. There have been joint winners in the past (19974 and 1992) but now the rules explicitly state only one. However, it appears that it’s not just Brexit or Donald Trump that can split a vote these days and in the end two books were awarded, Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments (which was the odds-on favourite) and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other. Although Evaristo is relatively unknown author in Australia, this is actually her seventh novel and she has written plays, short fiction, reviews, essays and is a Professor of Creative Writing. Following twelve black women in Britain, this books dips through different times, stretching from 1905 to 2017. Highly praised for its orginality, wit and wisdom, it is a worthy winner along with the all conquering, fabulous Atwood. This win is her second, having won previously for The Blind Assassin. The Testaments is in my view a much better book than that one (I think she should have won previously for The Handsmaid’s Tale or Alias Grace – both classics) and is one of my favourite books of this year. Plenty of copies of both and the Booker shortlist in store!
Many customers, especially those that come into the shop on Mondays and Tuesdays, will have chatted to Aoife behind the counter and some of you will know that she writes fiction on the days she’s not in Fairfield Books. Recently, at the Davitt Awards her second novel, Second Sight, was runners up to the marvellous Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin for best Crime Fiction Book of the year. It was a star studded shortlist including many shop favourites including Jane Harper’s The Lost Man, Sue William’s Live and Let Fry and the prolific Candice Fox. So if you haven’t read Second Sight yet – what are you waiting for? Signed copies are in store or you can get Aoife to personalise it for you on Monday or Tuesday!
Excitement is building as we have unboxed Heather Rose’s new book Bruny and it’s out ready to be purchased! This is one of the big Australian releases for the year and we are delighted to be presenting in conjunction with Allen & Unwin, Heather Rose will be joining our very own Heather for the first in our Sunday Stories series on 13 October at 4pm. She will be talking all about her new novel and what a cracker it is! When the Bruny bridge is bombed, UN troubleshooter Astrid Coleman comes back to Tasmania to investigate at the behest of the State Government. What makes it personal is that her brother is the Premier and her sister is the opposition leader and an election is looming. It is a book about family loyalty but also the world around us – delving into some big global issues. A book designed to provoke discussion about Australia and where we sit in the world. Heather will also be chatting about her global smash Museum of Modern Love which swept the prizes board when it was released in 2017. It should be a great afternoon with wine and cheese provided. Bookings are ESSENTIAL and can be made through Try Booking – http://www.trybooking.com/BFBEZ. We’d love to see you there.
Do you have a book-loving tween (ages 9 – 12) who would love to get together with some like-minded kids in a Bookclub? Earlier this year we tested the water with a Kid’s Bookclub and it was a great success so we are going to give it another go for two more Wednesday afternoons. Last time Heather and the kids read Cloud Boy and Malamander and the discussion was great! In fact we had several parents coming in afterwards to tell us how much their child had enjoyed the book. The dates for this term are after school (4pm) October 16 and November 13. The cost is $55 which includes the two books that will be jointly read as well as hot chocolate and cookies as an afterschool treat. If you’re interested come in, pay in store and we will give you the first book to be read!
Just a reminder that it is only two sleeps until October’s Opening Pages with two wonderful authors, Tony Birch and Elizabeth Kuiper. Tony Birch is one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal authors, winning critical praise and prizes for his writing including Blood which was nominated for the Miles Franklin and Ghost River which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary award for Indigenous writing. He will be talking about his new book The White Girl, which focuses on Odette Brown and her granddaughter Sissy. Odette is one of the warmest and endearing characters I’ve read this year. We have lots of copies in stock as well as copies of Tony’s other books. Joining him is a debut author Elizabeth Kuiper who has drawn on her own life to produce a gripping account of living in Zimbabwe in her book Little Stones. As Robert Mugabe was only buried last week this is a timely book to assess the impact of his reign on Kuiper’s home country. Both books have a focus on young characters so if you have literary teens at home not doing much on school holidays bring them along! So much to discuss, it should be a wonderful night so please join us at 7pm for a glass of wine or soft drink. RSVPs can be made in store, via email email@example.com
After having to cancel the last Opening Pages due to ill health, we are back bigger and better in October. Not only are we running a super special Sunday event with the ‘Stella’ Heather Rose and her new book Bruny on 13 October (tickets available through Try Booking http://www.trybooking.com/BFBEZ), we are hosting two fabulous authors for our October Opening Pages on 2 October 7pm. Author, academic, activist, Tony Birch needs no introduction to Australian bookreaders having won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and in 2017 was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to discuss his new novel The White Girl on ABC Radio National’s The Book Shelf with South African crime writer Malla Nunn. Set post WW2 in the fictional town of Deane, Odette Brown is raising her granddaughter Sissy while managing to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing Aboriginal children from their families but when a new Sergeant comes to town their lives are threatened. While this work is fiction it packs a hard historical punch and in Odette Brown, Birch creates a wonderfully believable maternal character who will upend her own life to protect her granddaughter’s. Elizabeth Kuiper is a debut author of Little Stones, again a work of fiction with a strong factual basis as it draws on the author’s upbringing in Zimbabwe. With the recent death of Robert Mugabe, this is a timely novel exploring what happened to that country under his reign as tensions within Hannah’s family mirror the conflict that sweeps up the country. This should be a fascinating discussion with two authors at different stages of their career writing about different countries and yet both exploring race and human nature with compassion and wisdom with a glass of wine or soft drink in hand. Please RSVP in store, by ringing 90174748, on Facebook or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there.