‘It is the mark of a superior book of short stories when each contribution is able to stand in its own bold outline, yet also go to make something more and whole. This is such a book … It is a mature work from an author with a special sensibility and a comprehending, humane outlook.’Judges' comments, NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2014
In these thirteen short stories, Georgia Blain examines human nature in all its richness: our motivations, our desires and our shortcomings. The men in these tales frequently linger at the edges — their longings and failures exerting a subterranean pull on the women in their lives. In ‘The Secret Lives of Men’, a woman revisits her hometown and learns a long-held secret about her first boyfriend. In ‘The Bad Dog Park’, a man’s devotion to his dog ultimately forces him to confront his true hopes and fears. And in ‘The Other Side of the River’, we watch as a woman makes a snap decision about her life’s future direction, with devastating consequences for her family. Written in Blain’s trademark unadorned yet powerful prose, these stories resonate long after they are finished.
The Secret Lives of Men is an exceptional collection by one of Australia’s leading writers.
‘Richly imagined characters … told with lovely restraint. The authenticity of the writing is such that you feel you are standing in the shoes of these characters whose lives are at a particularly intense point’Herald Sun
‘Subtle, beautifully paced stories … a finely tuned collection, thoughtfully written and arranged, with profound and unsettling things to say about love, loneliness, and risk.’DENISE O'DEA, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
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‘Many adjectives have been used to describe Georgia Blain’s work, including evocative, powerful, atmospheric, haunting, rich, thought-provoking, skilful, uncompromising and finely detailed—all of which apply to this collection of short stories.’BOOKSELLER & PUBLISHER