Love Letter to Lola


A new collection by award-winning writer

Carmel Bird

You clamber up, heading for the exit, the circle of faint light, as the radiance of the pre-dawn leads you on toward freedom. I follow. You spread your darling wings. You enter the net that awaits you.

Bold, tender, and often fantastical, Love Letter to Lola enters the very pain of loss and grief while preserving a wise, sly, humorous, and ironic point of view. The thylacine, the dodo, the passenger pigeon, the blue macaw are all candidates to return from extinction, and here each is given its own moving narrative. The meaning of the British monarchy is challenged by a green spider; a unicorn and the rainbow serpent contemplate the end of the world; an angel gives his perspective on human life and love with a thoughtful and exquisite mischief. The author’s own ‘Reflection’ on the inspiration and the construction of the stories is a swift and penetrating conversation on how writing happens.

Paperback, 180 pages, $24.99 + postage




In conversation with Jane Sullivan, Bendigo Writers Festival, Sunday May 4, 2.30. Details here.

In conversation with Michael McGirr, Readings Carlton, Thursday may 11, 6.30 to 7.30pm. Free event, register here.


‘I love reading Carmel Bird. Her “endless search for meaning”, as she describes it, is wrapped in the sort of darkly entertaining writing that I can’t resist. It is the sort of writing I can happily read again and again – with the same expectation that I read Jane Austen. That is, both writers can make me laugh and squirm at the same time, which for me is just right.’ Whispering Gums book review.


‘Playful, violent, wild, these stories ask us to inhabit the bodies and minds of other species as they – as we all – stand tremulous on the point of extinction.’ – Sophie Cunningham


‘This teeming collection is deeply tuned to the possibilities of a future ‘where all life on the planet is treasured and nurtured by humans.’ – Gregory Day


‘Clever, heartfelt, joyous, and wise. Time spent with Carmel Bird is simply uplifting.’ – Michael McGirr


‘Immersive, surprising, and irresistible. A beguiling blend of historical facts and a dazzling imagination. Profound emotion and disarming wit.’ – Susan Midalia


‘Carmel Bird weaves her magic. Hers is a unique voice, attuned to the disquiets of our age, and still able to inspire hope and reflection.’ – Dennis Altman


‘… rich, unnerving, playful, terrifying, and heartbreakingly moving.’ – Matthew Condon

About the Author

CARMEL BIRD won the Patrick White Award for Literature in 2016. She has published novels, short stories, and non-fiction, her 2022 memoir Telltale foregrounding her Tasmanian origins, as well as her lifelong interest in the natural world, and in reading and writing. The Stolen Children – Their Stories, which she published in 1998, is an early landmark work in the promotion of indigenous issues. Love Letter to Lola is the latest offering of an author who is known for the sharpness and originality of her narratives.






Distribution inquiries:

Our titles are distributed by NewSouth Books through Alliance Distribution Services:
Tel: 02 4390 1300

Additional information







Publication Date:

1 May 2023


203mm H x 103mm W

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