Recommended Reads: January 2017

Each month the TWC publishes four recommended reads on our website. Three of the recommendations are recent releases by a local Tasmanian writer, an Australian writer and a children’s writer. The fourth is a Tasmanian classic that you may not have got round to reading, or that you may not have read for a long time. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the recommended Tasmanian classic, please feel free to pop into the library at the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and borrow a copy from us.

We would love to hear what you think of our picks – let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

This month we also have a great competition for you. We have a copy of Christine Dibley’s To the Sea and a copy of Fiona Levings’ The Moonbow up for grabs.

Drop our Community Engagement officer Ruth an email on with ‘January Reading Competition’ in the subject line, and let her know which book or books you’d like to be in the running for. Winners will be selected at random and notified by email.

Tasmanian recent release: To The Sea, Christine Dibley (Macmillan, December 2016)

Born in NSW, Christine Dibley has now lived in Tasmania for thirty years, and the state’s coastline provides much of the backdrop for her debut novel, To the Sea.

Focusing on the case of a missing 17-year-old-girl, To The Sea weaves the narratives and perspectives of four different storytellers, crossing not just continents but centuries too. This is no ordinary investigation.

To The Sea is an engaging tale, beautifully written, and will hold particular interest for those who love the Tasmanian landscape as much as the author obviously does. Definitely a great way to start your year in reading for 2017!

Australian recent release: I Will Rise, Hani Abdile (Writing Through Fences, 2016)

Hani Abdile is a Somalian asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat at the age of 17. Now twenty, she lives in Sydney on a bridging visa and has published I Will Rise, a collection of poetry, through the Writing Through Fences group.

“Hani is an incredibly brave writer. This book is a cathartic journey, purging her hardships through the creation of beauty. Hani throughout the pain of her experiences has kept hope and joy alive through her poetry. From Somalia to Christmas Island detention to Sydney, the theme of Hani’s challenging life has been and still is ‘I Will Rise’. The poems are full of passion, emotion and intellectual depth. The kind of passion that tears at the reader/listener and forces us to question out won role in keeping prolific artists like this locked away from Australian shores. The richness of her language and the vividness of her imagery signals the beginnings of a great writer. Keep watching this poet.”

Miles Merril, Word Travels.

Children’s recent release: The Moonbow, Fiona Levings (Little Steps Books, November 2016)

We’ve all heard of a rainbow, but what about a moonbow? Myrtlewump and Mutterbee are two best friends who do not always agree. When one room faces east and the other faces west, how can they tell that they are just looking at different versions of the same thing?

Tasmanian-based author and illustrator Fiona Levings has brought to life two unlikely friends who will teach us about curious things in the night and the nature of friendship. This is a truly gorgeous book, warmly written and beautifully illustrated. It’s sure to be loved by the young readers in your life.

Tasmanian classic: The River Wife, Heather Rose (Allen and Unwin, July 2009)

Heather Rose is one of Tasmania’s most respected and successful writers, and The River Wife, from 2009, was her third novel.

The River Wife is a simple but stunningly written fable of love. It tells the story of the river wife – part human, part fish – whose duty is to tend the river, but instead falls in love with a man. Tender and melancholy, it speaks of desire and love, mothers and daughters, kinship and care, duty and sacrifice, water and wisdom. There is a great sternness and sadness here, coupled with gentleness. A love story, a fable, a retelling of the Orpheus myth, The River Wife is grave, tender and otherworldly – a true original. Pick a copy up from the TWC library.