We’ll be offline for a while…

You may have noticed you haven’t been hearing from us as often as you used to. This is because there are lots of changes happening at Shoalhaven Libraries, and we have decided to give The Readers’ Haven a little break.

We would like to thank our followers for their support, and we look forward to reconnecting in the new year.

Happy reading!

The Readers’ Advisory Team, Shoalhaven Libraries


Author Visit @ Nowra Library- Brendan Shanahan

Renowned travel writer Brendan Shanahan will be visiting us to share his collection of darkly funny and unexpected tales ‘Mr Snack and the Lady Water.’

Brendan is a Sydney-based writer and journalist who has was a columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph, and writes regularly for The Australian,  The Sydney Morning Herald and The Wall Street Journal Asia. He is also the author of ‘The Secret Life of the Gold Coast‘ and ‘In Turkey I Am Beautiful.’

Brendan will be appearing on Wednesday October 30 at 6pm. Call 4429 3701 to book your place.

See you there!

Author Visit @ Nowra Library- Nicole Alexander

Best selling Australian author Nicole Alexander will be appearing at Shoalhaven Libraries Nowra on Monday, September 23rd, at 11am, to speak about her latest novel, Sunset Ridge.

Nicole is the bestselling author of three #1 Australian Fiction novels; The Bark Cutters, A Changing Land & Absolution Creek. The Bark Cutters remains the highest selling debut novel in the rural literature genre and was shortlisted for an Australian Book Industry Award in 2011. In 2012 Absolution Creek was selected for the ‘50 Books You Can’t Put Down’ Get Reading campaign. alexander,%20nicole

Nicole’s work, which incliudes novels, poetry, travel writing, creative writing and genealogy articles have been published in Australia, America, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany & Canada. Her novels have been praised for their authenticity and rich historical detail, much of which is drawn from primary source material in the form of family archives dating back 140 years. Nicole grew up in rural NSW and combines writing with working on her family’s property, where she can be found in the stockyards, mustering sheep or cattle, inspecting crops, or working in the station office (from www.nicolealexander.com.au)

Dean Swift Books will be selling Nicole’s copies of Nicole’s books on the day.

To book your place at this exciting author event, contact Kelly or Jessica on 4429 3710. We look forward to seeing you there!

3rd Wednesday Book Club- August 2013- Furreads

130-22-lLast month’s 3rd Wednesday Book Club followed the Read Watch Play theme of Furreads, which meant we spent lots of time reading and discussing Animal Tales (or Tails?). This reading theme was one of the most successful ones we’ve had this year and was greeted with great enthusiasm by our loyal book clubbers. In short, it was a “roaring” success.

August Reads 

Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres
Leviathan by Philip Hoare
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Every Burnford
The Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
Trim by Matthew Flinders
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
How Animals Grieve By Barbara J King
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand
Dogs from Riga by Henning Mankell
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Rifling Paradise by Jem Poster
My Place by Sally Morgan
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Botticelli Secrets Marina Fiorato
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Wilder Family by Kobie Kruger
The Light Between Oceans by  ML Stedman
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Swords and Crowns and Rings by Ruth Park
A Matter of Hope by Collette Livermore
Why Birds Sing by David Rotenburg
The Secret Life of Wombats by James Woodford
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend of the World’s Most Famous Dog by Susan Orlean
The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson with Aiden Fox
The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro
The Koran
Betrayal of Trust by JA Jance
The Lost Library by AM Dean
The Roswell Conspiracy by Boyd Morrison
Gershwin by Ruth Leon
The Ape House by Sara Gruen
Beauty in the Beasts: True Stories of Animals Who Choose to Do Good by Kristin Von Kreister
In the Presence of Horses by Barabara Dimmick
Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
The Griffith Review no.40 – Women in Power

Most Talked About Reads 


Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres

‘In early 1998 I went to Perth in Western Australia in order to attend the literature festival, and part of the arrangement was that I should go to Karratha to do their first ever literary dinner. Karratha is a mining town a long way further north. The landscape is extraordinary, being composed of vast heaps of dark red earth and rock poking out of the never-ending bush. I imagine that Mars must have a similar feel to it.

I went exploring and discovered the bronze statue to Red Dog outside the town of Dampier. I felt straight away that I had to find out more about this splendid dog. A few months later I returned to Western Australia and spent two glorious weeks driving around collecting Red Dog stories and visiting the places that he knew, writing up the text as I went along. I hope my cat never finds out that I have written a story to celebrate the life of a dog.’ – Louis de Bernieres (from goodreads.com)

Reserve a copy of Red Dog at Shoalhaven Libraries now.

Trim by Matthew Flinders

‘Trim was a much-loved cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on several of his voyages. Trim was to sail on four ships with Flinders, travelling from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay, to England and back to Sydney Town. Flinders wrote Trim’s story whilst being held by the French in Mauritius.’ (from goodreads.com)

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 

‘Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?’ (from goodreads.com)

Reserve a copy of Burial Rites at Shoalhaven Libraries now.

Man Booker Shortlist 2013


The 2013 Man Booker Shortlist has been announced. 

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)
The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin)

 The shortlisted novels are very diverse, with the authors hailing from New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe, and ranging from the 832 pages of The Luminaries to the 104 pages of The Testament of Mary. Settings include biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (Bulawayo), 19th century New Zealand (Catton), 1960’s India (Lahiri), 18th century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ozeki). The oldest author on the list is Jim Crace, aged 67, and the youngest is Eleanor Catton, who is 28. Catton is also the youngest ever Man Booker shortlistee!  (www.themanbookerprize.com)
Visit Shoalhaven Libraries online to reserve copies of the shortlisted novels now.

Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ is coming to life!

If (like me) you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander‘ books, you need to sit down. Now. Because I have news for you. Christmas has come early this year, folks: the new 16 part TV series ‘Outlander’ is due to start filming in Scotland this month. Even more exciting? The production team are dedicated to staying true to the books – to realising them, rather than reinventing them. And the best part? Well, obviously that would be Scottish actor Sam Heughan, who will be playing Jamie Fraser.

Sam Heughan will play Jamie Fraser.

Sam Heughan will play Jamie Fraser.


Tobias Menzies will play Black Jack Randall/ Frank

Tobias Menzies (of HBO’s Game of Thrones) will be playing the dual roles of Black Jack Randall and Claire’s husband Frank.

The only question remaining now is who will play Claire…


Author Visit @ Nowra Library: Turia Pitt

We are pleased to announce that Turia Pitt will be visiting Nowra Library on September 28th at 11am. Turia will be speaking about her new book Everything to Live For, which tells the story of her survival against extraordinary odds.

Bookings are essential for this special event. Contact Robin (4429 3710 sharpe@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au) or Dean Swift Books Nowra (02 4421 5568) to book your place. Entry cost is $2, with proceeds going to Donate Life.

See you there!

3rd Wednesday Book Club – July 2013 – Indigireads

Aboriginal Youths Here are the 3rd Wednesday Book Club reads from last month, Indigireads! As always we had a wide range of authors and genres to choose from, as well as some fabulous Indigireads from all around the world, too.

July Reads

Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Great Australian Loneliness by Ernestine Hill
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
People of the Whale by Linda Hogan
Roads to Quoz : an American Mosey by William Least Heat-Moon
Lame Deer Seeker of Visions by John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes
The Son by Philipp Meyer
Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
An Open House by David Boyd
A Delicate Truth by John Le Carre
Waging Peace: Reflections on Peace and War From an Unconventional Woman by Anne Deveson
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Conditions of Faith by Alex Miller
The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee
My Driver by Maggie Gee

Most Talked About Reads


Inferno by Dan Brown

“In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.” (from Goodreads.com)

“This novel has all the ear-marks of Brown’s other novels.  Yet, what makes the story more impressive is the underlying theme of global problems due to carbon pollution, diminishing fresh water supplies and overpopulation.  All the previous signs are symptoms of a disease or plague that will eventually destroy humanity in the not-too-distant future.  It is a topic that is foremost in today’s media.  For this reason, Inferno is an interesting and thought provoking work.

Quote from the book:  “If you could throw a switch and randomly kill half the population on earth, would you do it?  OK, but what if you were told that if you didn’t throw that switch right now the human race would be extinct in the next 100 years?  […]  Would you throw it then?  Even if it meant you might murder friends, family and possibly even yourself?  Would you kill half the population today in order to save our species from extinction?”” – Elaine, from 3rd Wednesday Book Club.

Reserve a copy of Inferno at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Solar by Ian McEwan

“Michael Beard is a Nobel prize–winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. While he coasts along in his professional life, Michael’s personal life is another matter entirely. His fifth marriage is crumbling under the weight of his infidelities. But this time the tables are turned: His wife is having an affair, and Michael realizes he is still in love with her. 

When Michael’s personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster. Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?” (from Goodreads.com

This novel made our most talked about list because it features THE most disliked character of nearly all time (as voted by the 3rd Wednesday Book Club). Elaine, one of our long-time members, says: “Must admit that the underlying story of solar energy is admirable, but found the main character totally offensive.”

Interested? Reserve a copy of Solar by Ian McEwan at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Qissat : Short Stories by Palestinian Women by Jo Glanville

“These fascinating and diverse stories reflect the everyday concerns of Palestinians living under occupation. Writers who were children during the first Intifada appear alongside those who remember the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war.

In this volume, Palestinian women offer compassionate, often critical, insight into their society in times of hardship and turmoil, yet look beyond to the warmth of human relations and the hope that better times will come.

These twelve stories are diverse in every way but one: they are all by women whose lives have been distorted by the loss of a homeland they can call their own.” (from Goodreads.com). Reserve a copy of Qissat at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving

This book was read by one of our book club members, Barbara, whilst travelling in this very same region of Spain many years ago. Reserve a copy here.

Am I Black Enough For You by Anita Heiss

“What does it mean to be Aboriginal? Why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity? Anita Heiss, successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school. She is Aboriginal – however, this does not mean she likes to go barefoot and, please, don’t ask her to camp in the desert.

After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too ‘fair-skinned’ to be an Australian Aboriginal. Such accusations led to Anita’s involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue.

In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness.

Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?”

”This is a warm, funny, but also achingly sad book.” Lyn – 3rd Wednesday Book Club

Reserve a copy of Am I Black Enough For You? at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

The Local Wildlife by Robert Drewe

Welcome to the Northern Rivers, where the ‘local wildlife’ can refer to more than just the exotic native fauna. After a decade spent in this picturesque corner of Australia, home of chocolate-coated women, pythons in the ceiling, online Russian brides, deadly paralysis ticks, and the mysterious Mullumbimby Monster, Robert Drewe wiped the green zinc cream from his face and set down some of the unusual wildlife experiences that the far north coast of New South Wales – home of the world’s greatest variety of ants – has to offer.

Drewe’s trademark gentle wit, acute observational powers and mastery of the English language are all on display in this collection of sketches and anecdotes based on the quirkiness of daily life. His sharp eye for human foibles – including his own – is tempered with a generosity of spirit.

Tall tales from Australia’s master of the short story – but this time these short, short stories are true.” (from Goodreads.com)

”This book of true short stories is delightful, full of deliciously quirky characters – both animal and human…” – Lyn, 3rd Wednesday Book Club.

Reserve a copy of The Local Wildlife at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Notes From a Well-Read Alice – July, 2013

Thanks again to Alice, one of our Home Library service borrowers,  for sharing her reading thoughts and reflections with us : )


Worth Dying For by Lee Child

Written at such a fast pace I almost felt breathless at the end of it. Full of on-the-spot, life-changing decisions. Nebraska was presented as a dry, desolate place, with a cruel family ruling a small community by fear. An ex-cop, ex-solder who is an expert in unarmed combat comes to town and quietly and heroically proceeds to put things right, with the help of an alcoholic doctor, a terrified hotel owner and a woman who knows the ruling family killed her daughter. A man’s book, but the author does have respect for women.  A violent book, not really my scene, but I must admit I turned the pages quickly to see what was going to happen next, and it was full of surprises.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Hard to believe it’s a first novel, Diane Setterfield’s writing is so polished and professional. A biographer who spends her life in her father’s bookshop receives a request to chronicle the life of ‘the world’s most famous’  author. Now dying, the author wishes to impart the story of her own life. Set in a crumbling, Gothic mansion, the story is about red-headed twins who run riot, with their own language, and extremely strong ties. Their cruelty keeps the reader agog, and the people who surround them are vividly characterised. This is a mystery of haunting conviction.  Being a long-time admirer of Isaac Pitman I found the passages on hieroglyphics particularly fascinating. This is certainly a booklover’s book. Overwhelming.

Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith 

‘Just magical. An insight into the best of human nature, without over-sentimentality. McCall Smith presents life for us as it should be. A tonic to read. Bertie, an extremely intelligent little boy of six has an over ambitious mother who fills his days with language and music lesson and visits to the psychiatrist. Olive, a six-year-old harridan, tells Bertie that one day he will marry her. He plans to run away.

Scotland Street, where everyone lives, welcomes triplets, Big Lou, the restaurant owner has  date with an Elvis impersonator and Angus the artist and Domineca the anthropologist make wedding plans, when an old flame appears on the scene and Cyril, Angus’ golden-toothed dog, views events and ankles with endearing reflections. After reading many books with hardly a chuckle I wallowed in the jests in this humane novel. I also learnt about Stendal Syndrome, the rituals of Masonry, Ebay and many ‘ologies’ so far unheard of. THis book was written in 2011, but McCall Smith remains essentially unaffected by the need to keep up with today’s changing values. Absolutely delightful.

Kal by Judy Nunn 

In1892 in Austria, two girls climb up through the snow to work at a resort where many wealthy Europeans and Americans holiday. On their way, they stop for a few words with two Italian men working on the blasting of a tunnel through the Alps. The brothers see a headline about a gold strike in Australia. They end up in Kalgoorlie, with its harsh beginnings and kaleidoscopic mix of humanity from different parts of the world. Judy Nunn’s narration is spellbinding. The horrors of World War 1 include descriptions of the 11th Battalion, where men from Kalgoorlie, who once fought each other as boys, now stand side-by-side facing heartbreaking conflicts. The saga continues, threaded with a tender love story, feuds and family loyalties, making this a worthy tribute to Australian history.

3rd Wednesday Book Club – June 2013 – Faraway

The Read, Watch, Play theme for June was Faraway. Here at Nowra Library we  chose to focus on travel fiction  because, we figure, books take you places. There’s nothing like armchair travel- curling up with an amazing book filled with the sights, scents and shades of a far away  place or time. Happy travels!

June Reads     

Blue Highways : A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon
Slicing the Silence : Voyaging to Antarctica  by Tom Griffiths
Questions of Travel  by Michelle de Kretser.  (Miles Franklin winner 2013)
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry
The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Life of Pi :a novel  by Yann Martel
Ox Travels : Meetings with Remarkable Travel Writers edited by Mark Ellingham et al
I Hear the Sirens in the Street  by Adrian McKinty
Fishing for Tigers :a novel by Emily Maguire
Benediction by Kent Haruf.
Journey of a Thousand Miles : My Story by Lang Lang with David Ritz.
Kennedy’s Brain by Henning Mankell
Empire Day by Diane Armstrong
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Australian Science Magazine
Kennedy’s Brain by Henning Mankel
Los Angeles Stories by Ry Cooder
Sweeney Todd:  The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Peter Haining
Wild Nights by Joyce Carol Oates
A Plea for Eros by Siri Hustvedt
Entangled by Graham Hancock
The Oldest Song in the World by Sue Woolfe
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Perfume by Patrick Susskind
A Feast for Crows by George R.R Martin
Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma

Most Talked About Reads


Blue Highways : A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon

“Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation’s backroads. William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about “those little towns that get on the map-if they get on at all-only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi. His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.” (Goodreads.com)
‘This book is like a warm bath. You feel like you’re sitting in the passenger side of the author’s van as he drives along the highway.’- Michael, 3rd Wednesday Book Club.

Click here to reserve a copy of Blue Highways at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay

“In a small town on the land’s edge, in the strange space at a war’s end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story.

In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway’s library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank McKinnon is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive.

Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can be sometimes to tell them apart. It’s a story of life, loss and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

A story that will break your heart with hope.” (Goodreads.com)

Click here to reserve a copy of The Railwayman’s Wife at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Peter Haining 

“Sweeney Todd, the notorious Demon Barber, has been called the greatest mass murderer in English history. With the aid of an ingenious revolving chair and a cut-throat razor, he is said to have robbed and butchered more than 160 victims in his barber shop in Fleet Street, before taking the remains to nearby Bell Yard where his accomplice, Margery Lovett, cooked their flesh for her meat pies. Despite being as infamous in London’s history as Jack the Ripper, Todd’s story has been almost completely ignored by historians. In this definitive biography, Peter Haining delves into the grim underworld of London 150 years ago to expose the man behind the myth. Separating fact from fiction, he reveals a gruesome and bizarre story with a unique criminal heart.” (Goodreads.com)

“Set from the late 1700’s to the present this bio tells the story of the infamous murderer Sweeney Todd who was known as the “Fleet Street Murderer” and his accomplice Mrs. Lovett, a famous pie maker.  The book also tells how the story of Todd has been “kept alive” in print, theatre and movies over the last 200+ years.

Fascinating!  Interesting!  Could not put it down!  Once again Haining has written a well-researched, enjoyable and informative read!” – Elaine, 3rd Wednesday Book Club

Click here to reserve a copy of Sweeney Todd at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser

“A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories – from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination – a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.” (Goodreads.com)

Click here to reserve a copy of Questions of Travel at Shoalhaven Libraries today.

Word of the Day

‘Epistolary’ (epis·to·lary, adj.)  The word epistolary is derived from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter. Epistolary novels are those which are written as a series of documents, such as letters, diary entries, and newspaper clippings. Examples of novels written wholly or partly in the epistolary form include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple, Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Author Love-In

Ashley Hay

Ash Horiz B&W A

Author Ashley Hay (from http://www.ashleyhay.com.au)

Ashley Hay’s four books of narrative non-fiction –The Secret and Gum, and Herbarium and Museum (the latter two in collaboration with photographer Robyn Stacey) – all reveal an ongoing fascination for stories about fabulous people and their obsessions.

Her essays, short stories and journalism have appeared in anthologies and magazines including Brothers and SistersThe MonthlyThe BulletinBest Australian Essays, Heat and When Books Die.

The Body in the Clouds, her first novel, was published by Allen & Unwin in September 2010 and described by The Weekend Australian as “a gorgeous, Fabergé egg of a book, enamelled with literary resonances and rhyming symbols, which we will still be reading decades from now”.

Her second novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, will be published in April 2013 – preceded by a five-star review from Australian Bookseller and Publisher. Gail Jones (author of Five Bells) has praised it as “a tender portrait of a marriage and the poetry and grief it contains; a beautiful, dreamy, melancholy book.”  (from ashleyhay.com.au)

Ashley Hay at Thirroul, NSW (from www.theage.com.au)

Ashley Hay at Thirroul, NSW (from http://www.theage.com.au)