We All Lived In Bondi Then

We All Lived In Bondi Then

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Susan's Review

Many readers of Georgia Blain’s work will be familiar with the melancholy story of how, while writing a novel about a woman with brain cancer, Blain was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. Her novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, subsequently won or was shortlisted for several prestigious literary awards. Now, eight years after her death, her previously unpublished short stories have been released in a beautiful hardcover edition called We all live in Bondi now. As her close friend, novelist Charlotte Wood, writes in her Foreword, this new collection shows Blain writing at the height of her artistic powers about family, sexual relationships, grief, loneliness, betrayal and love.

All the stories are subtly crafted and stylistically poised. They offer compassionate insights into the experiences of disillusionment, illness, and the temptation to nostalgia. Unsentimental and deeply moving, the stories reveal how the smallest, everyday detail can have profound and universal human resonance. And like all the best short stories, they leave us with a haunting sense of what isn’t, cannot or must not be said.

Charlotte Wood also writes in her Foreword about her distress at having accidentally erased Blain’s messages from her voice mail. She couldn’t bear, she writes, ‘never to hear Georgia’s voice again.’ It is a form of consolation, then, to hear Blain’s voice — emotionally restrained, sometimes wryly humorous and always admirably lucid — in this wonderful collection. It’s a brilliant work in its own right, and an important contribution to her legacy.

Publisher Review

From the author of the multi-award-winning bestseller Between a Wolf and a Dog, a powerful collection of previously unpublished stories.

A sister is haunted by the consequences of a simple mistake. A daughter searches for certainty as her mother's memory degrades. An encounter at a house party changes the course of a life.

In We All Lived in Bondi Then, beloved Australian author Georgia Blain returns to her resonant themes of relationships and family, illness and health, love and death. Composed in Blain's final years, these nine stories grapple with large questions on a human scale, brimming with her trademark acuity, nuance, and warmth.

Other Reviews

We All Lived in Bondi Then never wallows in sentimentality; instead, its portraits of the ordinary toils of life are glassy-clear and smooth, making the scarce moments of optimism or humour almost euphoric ... The collection offers readers a final gift of the lucid, observant, occasionally wry examination of modern life and the human condition for which Blain is celebrated.'-Anica Boulanger-Mashberg, Books+Publishing