I am absolutely delighted to share the news that my new novel, Mother of Pearl, will be published by Transit Lounge in July 2019.
Mother of Pearl was written as part of my PhD in Creative Writing at Monash University, and explores the complex and contentious topic of overseas commercial surrogacy.
Here’s the elevator pitch:
Mother of Pearl tells the story of three women. Mukda is a single mother in provincial Thailand, struggling to make ends meet. Anna is an aid worker, trying to settle back into life in Melbourne after more than a decade in Southeast Asia. Meg, Anna’s sister, holds out hope for a child, despite seven fruitless years of IVF. The three women’s lives become intimately intertwined in the unsettling and extraordinary process of bringing a child into the world across borders of class, culture and nationality.
Here’s what my thesis examiners had to say about the novel:
‘A considered and accomplished piece of work’
‘Characters are deeply imagined and plausible.’
‘The plot is well-handled, with the movements back and forth between Thai and Australian settings and characters, and between time frames, highly effective…
‘As the story develops, readers (at least this reader) are held in thrall, as issues of pregnancy, desired motherhood, and birth are all dealt with in convincing and
And this from Christos Tsiolkas:
What I find remarkable about this novel is how it refuses easy and lazy judgement, how it takes seriously questions of loss, longing, and our human need to connect with each other. The writing is moving and powerful, the story riveting, and the execution both daring and engrossing. It is a book that is both devastating and hopeful. It is a wonderful read.
I’m very grateful to my agent Fiona Inglis at Curtis Brown for helping to find the right publisher, and to Barry Scott and his team at Transit Lounge for their vote of confidence in a book that was a labour of love for me (no pun intended). Barry was charged with administering the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Unpublished Manuscript when I won back in 2004, an award that launched my writing career, with the publication of my first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar (Text, 2006). So it seems fitting that Barry should publish a work that is, as a non-genre novel, a new beginning for me.
I have many other people to thank, but I’ll save that for the acknowledgements section of the novel. In the meantime, I’m simply delighted to share this news.