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Mateship With Birds : Shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award - Carrie Tiffany

Mateship With Birds

Shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Literary Award

Paperback Published: 1st February 2012
ISBN: 9781742610764
Number Of Pages: 224

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On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.

Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life – to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.

About The Author

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in the Red Centre and now lives in Melbourne, where she works as an agricultural journalist. Her first novel, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (2005) was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, and won the Dobbie Award for Best First Book (2006) and the 2006 Western Australian Premier's Award for Fiction. Mateship with Birds is her second novel.


Same thoughtful writing and style


I scan reviews then choose to my taste in reading. I borrow many books but also cannot resist buying my own - which leaves me with a huge pile of books to give away to a deserving person/cause. Many books I re-read and one of the best was Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living - a good combination of history and fiction.

Murrumbateman NSW


love our nature creatures & farm animals


Cruelty to animals & birds, Uninteresting characters and to top it off I was hoping the character that abused an animal was found dead, what a disappointment.

Hervey Bay Queensland


Not enchanted


An easy read but I found the story somewhat limited.



Rural life in the '50s


Our book club read this book. Interesting description of life dictated by the seasons rather than the TV guide. The characters take great joy in the drama of nature and find true happiness through their relationships with each other and with nature. Rather than the 1950s being portrayed as a conservative sterile time, Carrie Tiffany highlights the simple pleasures that we often miss out on in our 21st century lives in big cities. She deserved to be the inaugural winner of the Stella Prize for Australian women writers for this work.



Mateship With Birds

3.0 4


ISBN: 9781742610764
ISBN-10: 1742610765
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st February 2012
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.8 x 13.6  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1