What are the hares getting up to among the sunflowers? Who is paying $6000 for a raincoat? The priest is good, kind, adored, believed – but can the schoolgirl trust him? Who kills his wife and dumps the body in the pool? What if you find your death was listed long ago online?
With lightness in the telling, with subtle harmonies and rhythms in the sentences, subversive wit, tender observation – these new stories from one of Australia’s foremost storytellers explore the mysterious workings of the heart.
Accompanied by the author’s comments on the stories’ origins and themes, as well as insights into the creative process, this is the first in Spineless Wonders’ new series, FICTION PLUS. A must for lovers of short fiction – for readers and for writers.
Praise for My Hearts Are Your Hearts:
‘The inscrutable nature of the human heart binds Carmel Bird’s latest collection of short stories. The first in Spineless Wonders’ new series combining short fiction with author commentary, Bird’s tales have a fairytale-like quality in their playful yet incisive take on the uncomfortable truths of everyday life. From contemporary marriage breakdowns to long-buried love affairs to the haunting consequences of loss, all 20 stories explore the quirks of human nature in the darkly poetic style characteristic of Bird’s writing. Her finely observed descriptions of the minutia of love, death and life will both shock and amuse readers interested in re-examining the seductive promise of a happy ending. The prose is deceptively easy to read, with matter-of-fact narrators providing the unvarnished truth of their inner lives—truths that have a habit of returning to your thoughts long after the story is finished. The lively critical essay, a conversational reflection on the stories behind the stories, complements the imaginative breadth of the collection. This is a rewarding read for fans of short fiction.’ -Bronwyn Reddan is an academic and data assistant for the 2014 Stella Count
‘Bird is on song.’ Marion Halligan
‘A glittering trove where witty, sharp-eyed narrators never fail to tell you what you really want to know about love, art, sex, death — and the heart, in all its many guises.’ Danielle Wood
‘Bird’s wit and unsentimental hyper-realism play against her romantic imagery to summon the shifting truths of the human heart.’ Gerardo Rodríguez-Salas
‘Delicious and disturbing stories from a great Australian storyteller.’ Brenda Walker
‘Intimate and witty, romantic and ironic, and, above all, compassionate, Carmel Bird’s extraordinary stories do more than take you in — they abduct you.’ Robert Drewe
About The Author:
Carmel Bird is the 2016 winner of the Patrick White Literary Award. Carmel’s work spans forty years, and she has published thirty books. Carmel’s popular manual for fiction writers is Dear Writer Revisited (Spineless Wonders, 2013), and her key work on memoir is Writing the Story of Your Life. Two of her anthologies, The Penguin Century of Australian Stories and The Stolen Children – Their Stories are also very popular. Carmel’s work is known for its lightness of touch, coupled with a seriousness of purpose, some of her concerns being the history of Australia’s First Peoples, reproductive technology, loss of species, lost children. Language, the construction of fiction, and book design are some of her key preoccupations.