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Happy’s Best New Books (16th August – 22nd August)

Updated weekly by the fine folk at Happy Mag, these are the best new books that this week has to offer from Australia and around the world!

Leïla Slimani – The Country of Others

The struggle to be free is explored through multiple prisms in Leïla Slimani’s new novel, The Country of Others. France’s liberation from Nazi occupation means Mathilde can join her husband in Morocco. But that country’s hunger for independence (from erstwhile occupied France) also permeates the lives of the reunited couple. Poignantly, Mathilde’s own oppression, her relegation to domestic duties, is also vividly portrayed. A powerful story set against the real-life turbulence of the mid-20th century.

9.4

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The Country of Others
LEÏLA SLIMANI
THE COUNTRY OF OTHERS

SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition – Roots: Home is Who We Are

This highly anticipated release is a showcase of premium emerging literary talent from the breadth of Australia. With a focus on voices that are rarely heard in the contemporary discourse, 30 memoirs explore the topics of family, culture, sexuality, connection and the meaning of home from a diversity of authors. Vital reading for viewing life in Australia via typically underrepresented perspectives.

9.2

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Roots
SBS EMERGING WRITERS’ COMPETITION
ROOTS: HOME IS WHO WE ARE

Barbara Minchinton – The Women of Little Lon

The Women of Little Lon offers up an historical analysis of Melbourne that’s decidedly off the beaten path. The sex workers of Victorian-era Melbourne have been largely forgotten, but their story is significant. Author Barbara Minchinton brings their tales to life, explaining how the industry born in the ‘Little Lon’ district of the city was linked to the establishment of the era, while shedding new light on their daily existence.

9.0

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The Women of Little Lon

BARBARA MINCHINTON
THE WOMEN OF LITTLE LON

Sarah Walker – The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

In this thought-provoking collection of essays, award-winning author and artist Sarah Walker dissects (no pun intended) the chaotic nature of our bodies and interrogates the reasons why we’re taught to fear them. Exploring the intersection of the natural state of ourselves, societal expectations, and art, it’s a fascinating and at times bleakly comedic suite of meditative pieces.

9.1

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The First Time I Thought I was dying
SARAH WALKER
THE FIRST TIME I THOUGHT I WAS DYING

Mette Jakobsen – The Wingmaker

Playwright and novelist Mette Jakobsen’s new work, The Wingmaker, centres around Vega, who is in desperate need of solitude as she embarks on a daunting restoration project. When she arrives at a place where she hopes to find calm, she is instead confronted with a cast of characters that casts her malaise in a new light. A novel replete with Jakobsen’s characteristic delicacy and enchantment.

8.9

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The Wingmaker
METTE JAKOBSEN
THE WINGMAKER

Nikki Gemmell – Dissolve

International best-seller Nikki Gemmell has 13 novels and 4 non-fiction works and Dissolve, in some ways, reads like a reflection of her decades of artistic practice. But its focus on female creativity in the shadows of male dominance and its second-person perspective injects it with a narrative potency that transcends memoir, making it a direct and at times pointedly uncomfortable conversation with the reader. Confronting and exhilarating.

9.3

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Dissolve

NIKKI GEMMELL
DISSOLVE
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