Treat yourself to some new reads this winter! Get your bedside stack sorted with these six books by authors coming to Byron Writers Festival 6–8 August.
1. Phosphorescence by Julia Baird
Critically acclaimed author and award-winning journalist Dr Julia Baird explores ways we can pursue awe, wonder and purpose. And more than that, when our world goes dark, when we’re overwhelmed by illness or heartbreak, loss or pain, how do we survive, stay alive or even bloom? Phosphorescence takes you on a journey to finding the truth to the science of happiness and how do we retain it. An intimate and inspiring investigation from one of Australia’s most perceptive writers and commentators. Phosphorescence is beautiful, intimate and inspiring. A perfect gift to yourself.
2. Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music by Archie Roach
No one has lived as many lives as Archie Roach – stolen child, seeker, lover, leader, and musical and lyrical genius – but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was. In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Roach’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and music. A stunning story of resilience and strength – and of one of the greatest love stories ever told.
3. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
Richard Flanagan has described his eighth novel – a magical realist tale of ecological anguish – as ‘a rising scream’. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams expresses horror and frustration at the ongoing destruction of the natural world and at the maddening tendency of people to carry on as normal while ecosystems are collapsing and mass extinctions are taking place all around them. An ember storm of a novel, this is the Booker Prize-winning author at his most moving – and astonishing – best.
4. One Hundred Days by Alice Pung
One of Australia’s most original and skillful storytellers, bestselling author Alice Pung returns with her much anticipated new novel One Hundred Days, a fractured fairytale that explores the fault lines between love and control.
‘What is astounding about One Hundred Days is that, while fearlessly honest about the damage family members can inflict on one another, it is also full of forgiveness and harmony and grace. Pung’s discernment and command as a writer is astonishing, elating. I adore this book.’ – Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.
5. The Pronoun Lowdown by Nevo Zisin
We find ourselves at an exciting moment in history. For the first time, trans and gender diverse people are being seen and heard. Thanks to tireless activism, and an increased visibility worldwide, these lived experiences (the joyful, and the painful) can no longer be ignored. Woven together with author Nevo Zisin’s own pronoun journey, this colorful hardback sheds light on the complicated history of gender around the world, in language and across time.
6. Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen
A blend of poetry, memoir and theory, Dropbear is an essential read that confronts the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury. Evelyn Araluen is a vibrant new Indigenous voice on the Australian literary scene that demands to be heard. This book is about love and respect – of ancestors, family, community, a partner, and the power of language and country.