The Next Big Thing
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What they don’t tell you in birth class is that families are the perfect container for ghosts. Intergenerational secrets? Check. Seething tensions? You bet. Profound attachment, sentimentality and love? Right here, buddy.
Three new Australian novels due out this year examine bloodlines, stubborn histories and family lore in distorted and dream-like ways. In a surreal reimagining of Tasmania, the interlocking riddles of Robbie Arnott’s Flames brim with love and grief, joy and pain. Moreno Giovannoni’s The Fireflies of Autumn threads whispers of migration, war and love – and good and bad fortune – through a series of fable-like tales centred around San Ginese, Tuscany. And in Julia Prendergast’s The Earth Does Not Get Fat, a family grapples with suffering, intimacy and the return of the past.
For this edition of The Next Big Thing, Arnott, Giovannoni, Prendergast and Voiceworks contributor Amie Green will join us at The Moat to share a taste of these exciting new works of fiction.
Readings will be our bookseller at this event.
Julia Prendergast's short stories have been longlisted, shortlisted and published with the Lightship Anthology International Short Story Competition, Ink Tears International Short Story Competition, Glimmer Train International Short Story Competition, Séan Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition, TEXT, Review of Australian Fiction, Australian Book Review’s Elizabeth Jolley Prize and Josephine Ulrick Prize.
She has a PhD in Writing and Literature; she is a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Swinburne University in Melbourne.
Moreno Giovannoni was born in San Ginese but grew up in a house on a hill, on a tobacco farm at Buffalo River in north-east Victoria. He is a freelance translator of long standing. The Fireflies of Autumn: And Other Tales of San Ginese is his first book.
Robbie Arnott was born in Launceston in 1989. His writing has appeared in Island, the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and the 2017 anthology Seven Stories. He won the 2015 Tasmanian Young Writers’ Fellowship and the 2014 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. Robbie lives in Hobart and is an advertising copywriter.
Amie Green writes and draws queer, witchy and wormy things. She’s been published in Voiceworks, Concrete Queers, Farrago, Judy’s Punch and Wasteland Online. She currently edits poetry for Voiceworks and is the designer of Antithesis journal. Find her rollerblading around the Western suburbs of Melbourne and on Instagram @amiesgreenart.
New and emerging writers often produce adventurous, experimental or honest work – with the lesser burden of expectation, habit and legacy allowing for more careful or bold ideas.
A Wheeler Centre stalwart, our Next Big Thing series showcases the best in fresh Australian writing – with a focus on a different genre each month. You’ll hear from future favourites, and discover new darlings while you enjoy a drink and a bite in the intimate surrounds of The Moat.
Why wait for everyone else to catch up? Find tomorrow’s literary stars today.