Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Books of the Year 2011

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337

Books of the Year 2011

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337

Patrick Allington

The year, for me, has been dominated by wonky donkeys and dancing kangaroos. As for books for adults, I read more fiction than non-fiction – and, with accidental parochialism, more Australian than international novels. Frank Moorhouse’s Cold Light (Vintage, see the November 2011 ABR review [11/11]), especially its majestic ending, is a triumph. Together with Grand Days and Dark Palace, Moorhouse’s ‘Edith trilogy’ is storytelling of great energy, political intricacy, and wit. Canberra needs an Edith Campbell Berry statue.

My début Australian novel of the year is Peggy Frew’s terrific domestic/rock’n’roll tale, House of Sticks (Scribe).

One of the downsides of these sorts of lists is that nobody’s reading can ever be up to date. If I’d read it in time, I would have included Fiona McGregor’s marvellous Sydney novel, Indelible Ink (Scribe, 6/10), in my 2010 list. As Christos Tsiolkas puts it, it’s ‘absolute f***ing gold’. I note it now, a year late.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.