‘The Bus on Thursday’ by Shirley Barrett will appeal to those with a certain sense of humour, most likely a dark one. It opens with Eleanor Mellett discovering that she has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 31. After being dumped by her boyfriend, she gets a new job teaching at a tiny school in Talbingo (population: 241) in a particularly remote area of rural Australia. The previous teacher, Miss Barker, has gone missing in mysterious circumstances and the oddball residents are bewildered by her sudden disappearance. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Australia
I have been reading a lot of non-fiction over the last few weeks, and even the most recent novel I have read masquerades as a series of biographical sketches. ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ by Ryan O’Neill is introduced as a collection of sixteen portraits of Australian literary figures from the 20th century. It is a shame that the blurb and my review are forced by necessity to reveal that everything from the dedication to the index is invented, but O’Neill’s highly amusing pastiche more than makes up for this. Continue reading
‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion is a quirky and endearing story about Don Tillman, a genetics professor with autism who embarks on The Wife Project in an attempt to meet his ideal life partner through a detailed questionnaire. Instead, he meets Rosie Jarman who fits none of his very specific criteria – she smokes, drinks alcohol, doesn’t eat meat and is late for everything. However, Rosie’s quest to uncover the identity of her biological father leads Don on an eventful journey of his own.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Graeme Simsion about the process of writing ‘The Rosie Project’ and the inspiration behind the story: Continue reading