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The Resource The High Places

The High Places

Label
The High Places
Title
The High Places
Statement of responsibility
Fiona McFarlane
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The Night Guest introduced an Australian writer 'with the promise of literary greatness' (Los Angeles Times). The High Places delivers on that promise. The dazzling stories in this collection find those moments when people confront the strangeness and mystery of their lives. The revelations of intimidating old friends on holiday. An accident on a dark country road. A marine biologist in conversation with the ghost of Charles Darwin. The sudden arrival of American parachutists in a Queensland country town. A lottery win. A farmer troubled by miracles in the middle of a drought . . . The people in The High Places are jolted into seeing themselves from a fresh and often disconcerting perspective. Ranging around the world from a remote Pacific island to outback Australia to the tourist haunts of Greece, these stories are written with extraordinary invention, great emotional insight and wry humour. Each one of them is as rich and rewarding as literature can be. '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.' Dai Smith, Chair of Judges, Dylan Thomas Prize 'The High Places is 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 . . . Each story feels fresh and original . . . 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 'Laden with wry wit and a deceptive simplicity . . . Moves boldly between place, perspective and voice, describing situations that manage to be both hysterically funny and quietly devastating at the same time . . . These singular images speak to the larger universal experience that is recognisable, discomfiting and always surprising.' Books & Publishing 'This fine-tuned collection . . . is an impressive follow-up to the Sydney author's 2013 novel, The Night Guest. McFarlane glides through time and place with expert ease . . . The highlight? McFarlane's knack for rendering everyday life as remarkable.' Who Weekly 'It is one thing to abandon a story because it's poorly written, quite another to stop because it's too good. And yet that is what I did with 'Unnecessary Gifts' from Fiona McFarlane's debut collection of short fiction . . . The variousness of geographical setting in McFarlane's stories suggests the roving modernist cosmopolitanism of Christina Stead or Michelle de Kretser . . . She seems equally at home in past and present, city and country; writing in the mode of dun-coloured realism or the ecstatic epiphanic . . . McFarlane reminds us the world revivified by the artist's imagination, made strange and new, may be the only one in which we truly see.' Geordie Williamson, Weekend Australian '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 and exhibit a highly poetic sense of cadence and rhythm . . . Highly assured, comic but kind, an effervescent admixture of fable, magic realism, and irony. Impressively, the stories resist closure, opening out into more questions than answers; they are constitutionally agnostic, despite their keen interest in belief . . . Remarkable.' Australian Book Review 'McFarlane's people, or characters, because they exist in a liminal state unattached to reality, make ordinariness odd. It's a vertiginous world, a Kirchner or Munch . . . McFarlane has an intelligent and distinctive voice and she's a marvel at conjuring atmosphere.' The Age 'This collection of short stories will have you convinced that Fiona McFarlane can read people's minds . . . She uses this insight to explore the weird-edge bits of life, mysteries and memories and lies both white and juicy . . . McFarlane writes as though her characters are sharing their deepest secrets with you, and reading them is a privilege.' Yen 'Those who enjoyed McFarlane's debut novel The Night Guest, which was shortlisted for numerous literary awards, will once again find delight in the heightened realism of her quirky storytelling . . . Take your time reading these stories, so rich with irony.' Courier Mail
Member of
Summary
  • "A debut short-story collection from the author of The Night Guest"--
  • "What a terrible thing at a time like this: to own a house, and the trees around it. Janet sat rigid in her seat. The plane lifted from the city and her house fell away, consumed by the other houses. Janet worried about her own particular garden and her emptied refrigerator and her lamps that had been timed to come on at six.So begins "Mycenae," a story in The High Places, Fiona McFarlane's first story collection. Her stories skip across continents, eras, and genres to chart the borderlands of emotional life. In "Mycenae," she describes a middle-aged couple's disastrous vacation with old friends. In "Good News for Modern Man," a scientist lives on a small island with only a colossal squid and the ghost of Charles Darwin for company. And in the title story, an Australian farmer turns to Old Testament methods to relieve a fatal drought. Each story explores what Flannery O'Connor called "mystery and manners." The collection dissects the feelings--longing, contempt, love, fear--that animate our existence andhints at a reality beyond the smallness of our lives.Salon's Laura Miller called McFarlane's The Night Guest "a novel of uncanny emotional penetration. How could anyone so young portray so persuasively what it feels like to look back on a lot more life than you can see in front of you?" The High Places is further evidence of McFarlane's preternatural talent, a debut collection that reads like the selected works of a literary great"--
  • "A debut short-story collection from the author of The Night Guest"--
Pace
Tone
Award
  • Queensland Literary Awards, Steele Rudd Award for an Australian short story collection, 2016.
  • Nita B. Kibble Literary Award, 2018.
Assigning source
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10480462
Cataloging source
ANL
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1978-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Fiona McFarlane
Dewey number
  • 823.4
  • 823.92
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
Nature of contents
dictionaries
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
Fiction: special features
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
stories
Label
The High Places
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
ODILO:034300009516
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9781743480618
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk
Label
The High Places
Publication
Control code
ODILO:034300009516
Dimensions
4 3/4 in. or 12 cm.
Form of item
electronic
http://library.link/vocab/inputERC
True
Isbn
9781743480618
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Specific material designation
optical disk

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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