Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her most recent film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier's Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier's Prize 2010. RUSH OH! is Shirley's first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.
When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure. It's a season marked not only by the sparsity of whales and the vagaries of weather, but also by the arrival of John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, on whom Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush. But hers is not the only romance to blossom amidst the blubber ...
Bridget Jones meets Twin Peaks in this black comedy about a woman's retreat to a remote Australian town and the horrors awaiting her. It wasn't just the bad breakup that turned Eleanor Mellett's life upside down. It was the cancer. And all the demons that came with it. One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. The next thing she knew, her breast was being removed by an inappropriately attractive doctor, and she was subsequently inundated with cupcakes, besieged by judgy support groups, and the ungrateful recipient of hand-knitted sweaters from her mum. Luckily, Eleanor finds that Talbingo, a remote little town, needs a primary-school teacher. Their Miss Barker upped and vanished in the night, despite being the most caring teacher ever, according to everyone. Unfortunately, Talbingo is a bit creepy. It's not only the communion-wine-swigging priest prone to rants about how cancer is caused by demons. Or the unstable, overly sensitive kids, always going on about Miss Barker and her amazing sticker system. It's living alone in a remote cabin, with no phone service or wifi, wondering why there are so many locks on the front door, and who is knocking on it late at night. Riotously funny, deeply unsettling, and surprisingly poignant, Shirley Barrett's The Bus on Thursday is a wicked, weird, wild ride for fans of Maria Semple, Stephen King and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. And when have those three writers ever appeared in the same sentence?
'Hugely funny and peopled with a cast of characters I came to love like my own friends, Rush Oh! reminded me why I love reading' Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in New South Wales,chronicles the particularly difficult season of 1908 - a story that is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure. Mary Davidson has got used to looking after her five siblings whilst catering for her father's boisterous whaling crew. But when John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, arrives on the doorstep wanting to join her father, Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush which upends her world... Swinging from Mary's hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is an enchanting celebration of both Mary's unique voice and an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique allegiance with a pod of frisky killer whales - led by one named Tom.