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Fiona McFarlane

Biography

Fiona McFarlane

Fiona McFarlane is the author of THE NIGHT GUEST (2013); THE HIGH PLACES (2016), which won the International Dylan Thomas Prize; and THE SUN WALKS DOWN. Her short fiction has been published in the New Yorker and Zoetrope: All-Story. She teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Fiona McFarlane

Books by Fiona McFarlane

by Fiona McFarlane - Fiction, Short Stories

In 1998, an apparently ordinary Australian man is arrested and charged for a series of brutal murders. The news shocks the nation, bringing both horror and resolution to the victims’ families, but its impact travels even further: into the past, as the murders rewrite personal histories, and into the future, as true crime podcasts and biopics tell the story of the crimes. HIGHWAY THIRTEEN, Fiona McFarlane’s newest collection, takes murder as its starting point, but it unfolds to encompass much more: through the investigation of the aftermath of this violence across time and place, from the killer’s childhood town to Texas, Rome and tropical northern Australia, McFarlane presents an oblique, entrancing exploration of the way stories are told and spread, and at what cost.

by Fiona McFarlane - Fiction

In September 1883, a small town in the South Australian outback huddles under strange, vivid sunsets. Six-year-old Denny Wallace has gone missing during a dust storm, and the entire community is caught up in the search for him. As they scour the desert and mountains for the lost child, the residents of Fairly --- newlyweds, farmers, mothers, indigenous trackers, cameleers, children, artists, schoolteachers, widows, maids and policemen --- confront their relationships, both with one another and with the landscape they inhabit. The colonial Australia of THE SUN WALKS DOWN is noisy with opinions, arguments, longings and terrors. It's haunted by many gods --- the sun among them, rising and falling on each day in which Denny could be found, or lost forever.

by Fiona McFarlane - Fiction, Short Stories

Ranging from Australia to Greece, England to a Pacific island, the stories in Fiona McFarlane’s story collection journey across continents, eras and genres, charting the pivotal moments of people’s lives. In “Mycenae,” a middle-aged couple embarks on a disastrous vacation in the company of old friends. In “Good News for Modern Man,” a scientist conducts research on a small, remote island, where he is haunted by a colossal squid and the ghost of Charles Darwin. And in the title story, an Australian farmer turns to Old Testament methods to relieve a fatal drought. All are confronted with events that make them see themselves and their lives from a fresh perspective --- and what they do as a result is as unpredictable as life itself.

by Fiona McFarlane - Fiction

Widowed Ruth lives a quiet life by the sea until a woman claiming to be a government case worker comes to her door one wet night and stays. Frida’s presence subtly changes the environment, as Ruth suddenly starts recalling her childhood in Fiji and seems to hear a tiger roaming outside her window. Yes, there’s a dark secret in the past, but THE NIGHT GUEST is more concerned with creeping fear, the long road of aging, and the inviolable presence of the colonial past.