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2017 - Shortlisted
This experimental novel is set across two time zones. It opens in the 1980s as two young women, Eliza and Max, are brought together by the death of Eliza’s Aunt Dodge. The enigma of Dodge’s life and home draws them into a tangled legal quagmire with unexpected discoveries and a precipitous narrative conclusion. In the second half of the novel, set in the 1920s in bohemian Kings Cross, the family’s history is revealed in a parallel series of discoveries and the dramatic destruction of a piano.
This is not a novel for the faint-hearted; it is a demanding read. The compelling narrative voice and the occasionally vertiginous trajectories of the prose draw us into the opaque world of things and the visceral ways in which people butt up against each other. This is an exciting work by an original new writer.