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Cate Kennedy's first book, the acclaimed short story collection Dark Roots, was shortlisted for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. She is also the author of the travel memoir Sing and Don't Cry: A Mexican Journal and the poetry collections Joyflight and Signs of Other Fires. The World Beneath is her first novel.
Acclaimed by the New Yorker as a 'furious and perceptive' writer of 'sharp, evocative and poetic' fiction, Cate Kennedy has a rare talent - the ability to write life with needlepoint emotional precision. In The World Beneath, her first novel, she has used all of her gifts to craft a gorgeous, stark family drama - a story of a father and daughter lost in the eerie, treacherous beauty of the Tasmanian mountains. Fifteen years after he walked out on his wife and child, Richard takes his teenage daughter on a mountain hike. Against the jaw-dropping beauty of the Tasmanian mountain forests and lakes, he hopes he will be able to bridge the rift between them. But Sophie and her father soon find themselves out of their depth - lost in a treacherous, freezing landscape, two strangers battling against each other and the hostile elements.
We found the old car in the shed the very first day we moved to the farm. Dad put it under the peppercorn tree. 'You kids might as well play in it for the time being,' he said. We couldn't wait to find out where that car would take us.A story about three children, one old car, and a world of imagination.
From prizewinning short-story writer Cate Kennedy comes a new collection to rival her highly acclaimed Dark Roots. In Like a House on Fire, Kennedy once again takes ordinary lives and dissects their ironies and injustices and pleasures with her humane eye and wry sense of humour. In 'Laminex and Mirrors', a young woman working as a cleaner in a hospital helps an elderly patient defy doctor's orders. In 'Cross Country', a jilted lover manages to misinterpret her ex's new life. And in 'Ashes', a son accompanies his mother on a journey to scatter his father's remains, while lifelong resentments simmer in the background. Cate Kennedy's poignant short stories find the beauty and tragedy in illness and mortality, life and love. 'One of the world's finest short-story writers.' Robert Drewe 'Cate Kennedy's anger is a cleansing fire. Her stories ache with small mercies - tender, life-affirming, real.' Hilary McPhee
From prize-winning short-story writer Cate Kennedy comes a new collection to rival her highly acclaimed Dark Roots. In Like a House on Fire, Kennedy once again takes ordinary lives and dissects their ironies, injustices and pleasures with her humane eye and wry sense of humour. In 'Laminex and Mirrors', a young woman working as a cleaner in a hospital helps an elderly patient defy doctor's orders. In 'Cross-Country', a jilted lover manages to misinterpret her ex's new life. And in 'Ashes', a son accompanies his mother on a journey to scatter his father's remains, while lifelong resentments simmer in the background. Cate Kennedy's poignant short stories find the beauty and tragedy in illness and mortality, life and love.
'Great short stories have a power like a depth charge, subtext roiling up to the surface at precisely the right moment.' - CATE KENNEDY In The Best Australian Stories 2011, Cate Kennedy presents the most outstanding short fiction of the past year. These stories take us deep into our past, into strange and surprising parallel universes, and into unexplored corners of the present. Wonderfully exlectic and brimming with new and familiar voices, this is an ideal companion for summer and a perfect introduction to Australia's finest storytellers. * Chris Womersley * Karen Hitchcock * Nicholas Jose * Debra Adelaide * Mark Dapin * Marle Day * Louis Nowra * Rodney Hall * Favel Parrett * Mark O'Flynn * Jennifer Mills * Tim Richards * Gretchen Shirm * Michael Sala * Joanne Riccioni * Julie Chevalier * Russell King * Deborah FitzGerald * Rebecca Giggs * Nick Smith * Sarah Holland-Batt * Penny O'Hara * Stephanie Buckle * Kate Rotherham * Miriam Sved * Karen Manton * Sharon Kent * Leah Swann * Catherine Cole * Liam Davison * Marion Halligan
Disarming, warm, and always accessible, Cate Kennedy's poems make ordinary experiences glow. Everything that suffuses her well-loved prose is here: compassion, insight, lyrical precision, and the clear, minimalist eye that reveals how life can turn on a single moment. Musing on the undercurrents and interconnections between legacy, memory, motherhood, and the natural world, the poems in this exhilarating collection begin on the surface and then take us, gracefully and effortlessly, to a far more thought-provoking place. Grounded in lived experience, with all its mysteries and consolations, they resonate with a passionate, sensuous honesty.
Back in the eighties, Rich and Sandy were environmental campaigners: idealistic, passionate about their cause, and desperately in love. Now, twenty-five years later, and long since separated, they have both settled into the uncomfortable compromises of middle-age; about the only thing they share in common is their teenage daughter, Sophie. When Rich decides to take Sophie on a six-day hike into the Tasmanian outback, he hopes the journey will bring them closer together. But in the epic wilderness he once felt so passionate about, he now finds nothing but disorientation and fear - his daughter seems harder to reach then ever, and events soon begin to spiral dangerously out of control. In order to survive, father and daughter must first traverse an emotional gulf to learn how to trust each other and believe in themselves... Intense and beautifully told, gripping to the very last page, The World Beneath is a remarkable book about the mysterious and changing landscapes of family life: a novel to lose yourself in.
Once, Rich and Sandy were environmental activists, part of a world-famous blockade in Tasmania to save the wilderness. Now, twenty-five years later, they have both settled into the uncomfortable compromises of middle age - although they've gone about it in very different ways. The only thing they have in common these days is their fifteen-year-old daughter, Sophie. When Rich decides to take Sophie, whom he hardly knows, on a trek into the Tasmanian wilderness, his overconfidence and her growing disillusion with him set off a chain of events that no one could have predicted. Instead of respect, Rich finds antagonism in his relationship with Sophie; and in the vast landscape he once felt an affinity with, he encounters nothing but disorientation and fear. Ultimately, all three characters will learn that if they are to survive, each must traverse not only the secret territories that lie between them but also those within themselves.
From the strains of a dissolving relationship, to the ripple effect of a chance encounter in an ordinary life, the characters in Cate Kennedy's Dark Roots speak of the hidden motivations that propel us all into action. Kennedy's characters hover at tipping points in their lives, at which an apparently insignificant decision can propel them into an undreamed of future, or mean the power of life and death. In just a few pages, Cate Kennedy captures whole lives with masterful narrative restraint - the regrets, the successes and the unintended ironies. She reveals how relationships can break down either slowly, through the accumulation of grievances, or suddenly, in a rush, with one false step. But she also shows how love for a partner, a child, or even a stranger, can save us. Dark Roots is a bravura collection of stories, by turns heartbreaking, richly comic and, above all, unerringly human.
In these sublimely sophisticated tales, Cate Kennedy opens up worlds of finely observed detail. Her stories are populated by people at tipping points in their lives - moments that find them poised between a familiar past and an unfamiliar future. In 'The Testosterone Club', a neglected wife plans an unsavoury revenge on her boorish husband. In 'Resize', a married couple realise their too-tight wedding rings may symbolise wider aspects of their relationship. And in 'Cold Snap', a young boy senses that the newly arrived tree changer may have some sinister intents. Heartbreaking, evocative and richly comic, Dark Roots unveils the traumas that incite us to desperate measures, and the coincidences that drive our lives.