A post by Dylan Dartnell
A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, Natasha Lester
A couple of months ago, Subiaco Library hosted a writer’s workshop on the power of setting. Like library books upon shelves, writers crammed shoulder-to-shoulder to glean whatever tips they could from Australian best-selling author, Natasha Lester, who is renowned for her ability to flesh out worlds so authentic, they become another character. A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald is set in 1920s New York and concerns the passionate Evelyn Lockhart and her ambitions to become one of the first female doctors. I bought this novel—and had it signed, I might add—so I could pass it on to my mother for Christmas, but it will also set me up nicely for Lester’s next release, which I am sure we can all agree, will be something special (hint: Paris).
The End of the World Running Club, Andrew J Walker
This year, before nearly breaking my ankle during a mixed-netball catastrophe, I took up running. I started out small, training for the 8km Mother’s Day Classic, before attempting the 12km, HBF Run for a Reason. All of this was leading up to my main goal for the year, Perth’s City to Surf, half-marathon (21km). But the characters of Walker’s 2014 novel are running for more than personal satisfaction; they’re running for their lives. In order to be reunited with their families and the remaining survivors of a horrific meteor shower, which annihilated the UK, Edgar Hill must run from Edinburgh to Cornwall, almost 550 miles (857km), in a little over three weeks. If maths serves me correctly, it works out to be 40km/day, which really puts my efforts to shame. But, it just goes to show what a little motivation—life or death—will do to get someone over the finish line.
Extinctions, Josephine Wilson
Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2017—that really should be reason enough to add to anyone’s To-Be-Read List. Wilson engages her audience with the complexities of ageing, adoption, grief and remorse, empathy and self-centredness through retired-professor, Frederick Lothian. According to UWA Publishing, this is set to be a “humorous, poignant and galvanising” read, which address “all kinds of extinction—natural, racial, national and personal—and what we can do about them.” At Underground Writers, we are passionate about supporting the literary accomplishments of Australian writers and we extend our congratulations to Josephine Wilson on such a terrific achievement.