Shortlisted for the Age Fiction Prize.
“She finds more ways to be funny than I could count, yet she can cast a light into a dark corner before you know she's done it.”
Daisy is married to her job, Shirley de Young is engaged to Jack but would as soon be married to herself, while Joannie has left her husband for a fling with the movie star, Ralph Fiennes. Brad is inspired by the Eureka uprising to break up with his girlfriend, and an unexpected influx of babies - two thousand of them - calls into question the meaning of Jenny's life.
Flitting from Sydney to Melbourne, Canberra to California, this loosely linked collection of stories shines a bright fluorescent light on family, friendships, work, love and loss.
Reading Group Book Questions
“I did quite a bit of snickering while reading this amusing collection, but How Do I Begin to Explain This to You shows the author’s dexterity in subverting reader expectations in more ways than one. Harris is a very accomplished new writer.” Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers Blog
“This startling collection of contemporary short stories offers scathing insights into the world of work and daily life, all wrapped up in Catherine Harris’s wicked sense of humour. Reminiscent of Lorrie Moore, this is a fresh and refreshing take on Australian life that demonstrates how to write about relationships, parenthood and everyday frustrations without resorting to cliche. Harris also remembers to include what so many others leave out or are unavble to master - a healthy portion of satire.” Jo Case and Chris Flynn, Judges the Age Fiction Prize.
“This is a brilliant collection of short fiction, which tackles contemporary Australian issues with wit and humour. In what is already shaping up to be an unusually strong year for published collections of Australian short fiction, Like Being a Wife stands out as among the best.” Emmett Stinson, RRR
'She's got us all taped, she's a genius. She tells jokes and writes in parables which is not good for a literary career but is excellent news for readers. She's original, animating and defiant: she is a very, very good writer.' Fay Weldon
“I found the stories moving, thought-provoking and funny in equal measure. Each story is beautifully crafted, ending perfectly. A clear and assured voice emerges from the first page.” Rachel Wilson, Australian Bookseller + Publisher
'Catherine Harris finds more ways to be funny than I could count, yet she can cast a light into a dark corner before you know she's done it. She has a way of seeing and showing that are all her own, and a smart off-centre kind of energy that somehow only helps her aim stay true.' Nick Earls
'Frantic tales about frantic times told with great brio and style.' Frank Moorhouse
“The stories appear light-hearted but they are seriously funny and seriously good. Harris writing appears so effortless, akin to someone in a bar hurling darts at the dartboard without really watching, laughing even, and scoring a bulls-eye every time. “ Maggie Rainey-Smith is a Wellington novelist/poet/bookseller and regular guest reviewer on Beattie's Book Blog.
“This deceptively spare and understated collection of short stories explores the subtle compromises and negotiations of family, work and friendship with wry humour and insight. Individual stories reveal quiet moments of epiphany that are true to their period and hint tellingly at events that occur off the page. Together, the stories achieve a cumulative strength and present a remarkably consistent fictional world that resonates long after reading. The self-deprecating irony of the voice belies the emotive power that underpins the stories.” Judges, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2009
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st September 2010
Publisher: Random House Australia
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.29