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  transit lounge forthcoming

 


The Horses
William Lane
ISBN: 978-1-921924-85-9
Trade PB, 288pp
RRP: $29.95
All rights: Transit Lounge

On the outskirts of Sydney, a boys' boarding school prides itself on the horses it keeps. David, a gifted working class student, receives a scholarship to attend. At the same time Gregory, a new master, is appointed. Both soon learn, from their different perspectives, that what is said bears little relation to what is done. The school isolates itself from the outside world and over the course of several months of rain, the atmosphere inside the school becomes increasingly lawless and violent. School buildings slip away in floods. Underlying differences between various parties in the school turn into open conflicts, and the school community begins breaking up. These tensions are focussed in the conflict between two masters, Val and Mr C. These two men loathe one another, and both recruit boys in the war of ideas they are waging.
The Horses seems unique in Australian literature, exploring with great subtlety the complex way in which class can perpetuate itself through the education of its children. Reminiscent of J. G. Ballard's High Rise, set in an apartment complex designed to isolate its residents from the outside world, and Patrick White's writing in its satirical impulse leavened by compassion for the individual, Lane's new novel is never anything less than startlingly fresh and original.

'A beautifully crafted novel on life in a boarding school, a culture dominated by rules of religion and by horsemanship as a way of training boys to be men. With humour and narrative tension Lane shows how cruelty grows in institutions if they are insulated, their leaders becoming pompous and self-satisfied. The Horses superbly illustrates the difficulty of blowing a whistle on such places let alone escaping from them. 'Stuart Rees, Founder, Sydney Peace Foundation.

 

 

 


William Lane lives in the Hunter Valley, NSW, where he is raising three children. After completing an Honours degree in Australian literature, he travelled and worked in a number of different jobs. In addition to reading and writing, his interests include music and education. He is currently completing a doctorate on the Australian writer, Christina Stead. William has had several critical articles on Stead published in literary journals, and his short story 'Children's Hospital' appeared in the anthology Things that are Found in Trees and Other Stories (2012).



 


 

 




On Brunswick Ground
Catherine de Saint Phalle
ISBN: 9781921924873
Trade PB $27.99
Publication date: 1 July 2015
Rights: World English language

'A fresh and sparkling book that strikes deep notes as it flows along.' Helen Garner

In the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, a female narrator, who remains unnamed is trying to come to terms with the absence of Jack, the man she loves. In a bar she meets Bernice, a radio personality, in her late thirties and flirting with IVF. Finding a job as a gardener, she discovers that her co-worker, Mitali, has an unresolved mourning that attracts other deaths into its orbit. Later on, she befriends the resolutely mysterious bar owner, Sarah, and her daughter, Mary, who has, for potent (and as yet unrevealed) reasons, converted to Islam and donned a burqa.
The lives of these women are characterised by love and loss, and are woven together by their shared grieving at the senseless murder of Jill Meagher.
On Brunswick Ground traverses the world of longing, grief and personal loss with an assured and literary touch. It is a novel that is also heart-warming, and affirming. Catherine de Saint Phalle truly understands the surprising ways in which tragedy and loss can tighten the bonds of friendship and community.

'Like the suburb it depicts, On Brunswick Ground teems with lives at once familiar and strange, all beautifully lit by the glint and warmth of Saint Phalle's prose. Shadowed by local tragedy, we come to care for these characters as much as they care for each other; with wry humour and in unexpected ways.' Roger Averill

 

 

 




Catherine de Saint Phalle has had five novels published in France. In 2003 she moved to Australia because the sky is bigger and the people are warmer. A French tutor, she also curates a small art gallery in Brunswick, where she is ensconced with her partner, a poet and bookseller.





 



Guidelines for Mountain Lion Safety
Poe Ballantine

ISBN: 8781921924897
Trade PB 224pp
$29.95
e-book also available
Publication date: 1 August 2015


'I explained to Tom that dealing with the bully was no different than dealing with the mountain lion. They were both predators looking for easy prey.'

Poe Ballantine visits his dying Grandfather Bing, receives free rent in return for evicting difficult tenants from the Totalitarian Hotel, models nude for budding artists, reconnects with his parents, befriends a lonely Austrian tourist on the Greyhound bus, cooks and gambles in Vegas, falls in love, returns to his wife's homeland of Mexico to baptize his son, and discovers the true meaning of Guidelines for Mountain Lion Safety.

In this new collection of essays, Ballantine is at his soulful and penetrating best. At once hilarious and heart wrenching, the author recounts the trajectory of his own journey from reckless adolescence to the responsibilities of parenthood with disarming honesty, always fearlessly confronting those bullies and demons that threaten to blow us all off course.

'Poe Ballantine's writing is the latest testament of the American spirit that fired Muir, Algren and Kerouac, always reaching out for a golden America vanishing beyond the horizon, while hunted out of the backwaters and broken cities that lie along the way. The essays in this volume are songs of experience, of an America few foreigners visit, of death, longing, estrangement and strange joys, wrought with a language both rugged and beautiful. He is one of the finest living American writers, and this is my favourite of his works.'
Patrick Holland, author of Navigatio and The Mary Smokes Boys

 

 

 




Poe Ballantine is the author of the cult classic Things I Like About America and the acclaimed memoir Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, which was made into a documentary and is currently rated 8.0 on IMDB. He lives in Chadron, Nebraska, with his wife, Cristina, his son, Tom, and his notoriously slow dog, Lightnin'.






 


 
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