A new Alex Miller novel is something to celebrate.
Autumn Laing will be available in October
Autumn Laing has long outlived the legendary circle of artists she cultivated in the 1930s. Now ‘old and skeleton gaunt’, she reflects on her tumultuous relationship with the abundantly talented Pat Donlon and the effect it had on her husband, on Pat’s wife and the body of work which launched Pat’s career. A brilliantly alive and insistently energetic story of love, loyalty and creativity.
Alex Miller on his inspiration for Autumn Laing:
I was sitting on a bench in Holland Park, watching a squirrel and daydreaming about being a boy in London’s park when the voice of Autumn Laing intruded, ‘They are all dead and I am old and skeleton-gaunt.’ It was a realisation and I knew at once this was the right voice for a new book I was hoping to write.
Originally based on my lifelong interest in the Australian artist Sidney Nolan, Autumn shouldered this idea aside and re-set my plans for me. I loved being with her and am deeply grateful she seduced me too. Her confident voice never once faltered during the writing of the book.
Alex Miler’s latest novel is a brilliantly alive, insistently energetic story of love, loyalty and creativity, and Autumn Laing herself one of his most unforgettable creations.
Written with compassion and intelligence, this energetic, funny and wise novel peels back the layers of storytelling and asks what truth has to do with it.
Autumn Laing seduces Pat Donlon with her pearly thighs and her lust for life and art. In doing so she not only compromises the trusting love she has with her husband, Arthur, she also steals the future from Pat’s young and beautiful wife, Edith, and their unborn child.
Fifty-three years later, cantankerous, engaging, unrestrainable 85-year-old Autumn is shocked to find within herself a powerful need for redemption. As she begins to tell her story, she writes, ‘They are all dead and I am old and skeleton-gaunt. This is where it began…’
Written with compassion and intelligence, this energetic, funny and wise novel peels back the layers of storytelling and asks what truth has to do with it. Autumn Laing is an unflinchingly intimate portrait of a woman and her time – she is unforgettable.
About the Author: Alex Miller has twice won the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award, Australia’s premier literary prize; the first occasion in 1993 for The Ancestor Game, and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. Conditions of Faith, his fifth novel, was published in 2000 and won the Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the 2001 NSW Premiers Literary Awards. It was also nominated for the Dublin IMPAC International Literature Award, shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award in 2000, the Age Book of the Year Award and the Miles Franklin Award in 2001. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, for The Ancestor Game, in 1993. Miller’s eighth novel, Landscape of Farewell, was published in 2007 and shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2008. Lovesong was longlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin Award.
Last year, Toni Whitmont, Editor in Chief of Booktopia BUZZ, and regular blogger, was lucky enough to meet Alex Miller.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.