The High Places: Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017 (Paperback)
  • The High Places: Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017 (Paperback)
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The High Places: Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017 (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 26/01/2017
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The Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017

From the author of Waterstones’ Book Club choice, The Night Guest comes a collection of fourteen scintillating short stories: surprising, wise, thought-provoking and superbly wrought.

The wife was driving on the night they hit Mr Ronald.
‘My first drive since getting married,’ she said.

 

‘First this, first that,’ said her husband. He looked at her, sitting high in the seat: her hair looked flimsy and blonde. It was ten o’clock and only just dark. These were the days for marrying – the long days, and the summer. It hadn’t rained.

Ranging in setting from Australia to Greece, England to a Pacific island, these stories focus on people: their hopes, fears, dreams and disappointments, and their relationships - between ill-matched friends, daughters and mothers, fathers and sons, married couples and sisters.

Some are eccentric, like the widower who believes his dead wife's mechanical parrot speaks to him, or the research scientist convinced that Charles Darwin visits him on his remote island; others delude themselves, like the mistress of a married man who thinks she's freer than her married sister.

All are confronted with events that make them see themselves and their lives from a fresh perspective. It is what they do as a result that is as unpredictable as life itself.

 “This felt like a writer who was pitch perfect and just hit it on the nail with this book… we were all really impressed by, bluntly, a genius. And I am sure we will see a lot more of Fiona McFarlane. She is already acclaimed, but this will take her into an even higher stratosphere.” – Professor Dai Smith, Chair of Judges for the Dylan Thomas Prize

‘Deliciously unsettling, her characters act and react in unexpected ways, taking both reader and themselves by surprise.’ – The Observer

Australian author Fiona Macfarlane’s first novel The Night Guest won the inaugural Voss Literary prize in 2014. It was also shortlisted for Australia’s most prestigious literary award, the Miles Franklin, as well as the Guardian first book award in the UK.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781444776737
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 204 g
Dimensions: 197 x 131 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
McFarlane has a gift for cutting into a story at precisely the right angle . . . Her writing is skilled; her point of view is unique. -- Kate Saunders * The Times *
Deliciously unsettling, [McFarlane's] characters act and react in unexpected ways, taking both reader and themselves by surprise. -- Lucy Scholes * Observer *
In her distinct and unusual voice - the disconcerting tone and dry humour are reminiscent of Margaret Atwood or Valerie Martin - McFarlane examines relationships with uncomfortable clarity and insight, observing the subtext of human behaviour while acknowledging a mysterious power behind the reality we think we know. -- Imogen Lycett Green * Daily Mail *
Like a fascinating box of brightly coloured, faintly surreal toys -- Phil Baker * Sunday Times *
A terrific collection . . . a baker's dozen of powerful stories -- Jackie McGlone * The Herald (Glasgow) *
While the stories in THE HIGH PLACES are imaginative, playful, and intellectually sophisticated, it is no overstatement to suggest that their power resides in the authority of McFarlane's style, not just in her ideas. McFarlane's sentences fizz with imagery . . . The resultant voice is difficult to parse - highly assured, comic but kind, an effervescent admixture of fable, magic realism, and irony . . . [a] remarkable collection. * Australian Book Review *
Superb . . . It's not just that McFarlane's descriptions are beautiful prose, though they are. THE HIGH PLACES is more deliberate than that, and more intelligent. McFarlane strikes an emotional note on every page, whether it be humour or nostalgia or discomfort or joy . . . Nothing is forced and the reason I can't pick my favourite is that every one of the 13 stories is a winner. * The Saturday Paper *
McFarlane has an intelligent and distinctive voice and she's a marvel at conjuring atmosphere. -- Helen Elliott * Sydney Morning Herald *
While lesser writers use similes to render descriptions more vivid, McFarlane's heighten aspects of her characters and advance her plots. -- Christopher Benfey * The New York Times Book Review *
McFarlane writes with a deceptively plain hand, and her style gives shape to the unanswered questions of how well we can ever know each other or ourselves . . . The writing is clever and skilful in spades * Kirkus Reviews *
McFarlane has a knack for bringing out the macabre . . . and shows herself as an exceptionally fine writer of the ways coercion and care entangle us * Publishers Weekly *

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