TBR Thursday with She is Too Fond of Books is a meme to highlight all those hidden gems languishing in our out-of-control TBR piles.
They can be “books that I physically own, be it arc, bought, paperback or ebook. It could have been there for months or just acquired it yesterday.”
My little twist is to highlight one new release and one classic each week.
Over the next few weeks I will also focus on the Australian books lurking in my TBR in preparation for AusReadingMonth in November.
My new release is Autumn Laing by Alex Miller.
I read Coal Creek a few years ago and loved it.
I loved it so much that I’ve gradually been acquiring Miller’s backlist. I just haven’t made the time to read any of them yet!
Autumn Laing was first published in 2011.
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.
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.
My Aussie classic from 1995 is the memoir Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave. It has had a resurgence of interest of late thanks to a movie starring Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush, Sarah Snook, Anthony LaPaglia and Ryan Corr (which I hope to see soon).
The mid-seventies: at an all-boys Catholic school in Melbourne, Timothy Conigrave falls wildly and sweetly in love with the captain of the football team. So begins a relationship that weathers disapproval, separation and, ultimately death. With honesty and insight Holding the Man explores the highs and lows of any partnership, and the strength of heart both men have to find when they test positive to HIV. This is a book as refreshing and uplifting as it is moving; a funny and sad and celebratory account of growing up gay.