by Rhyll McMaster
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Amazon Editorial Review
"In this beautifully written and disturbing Australian coming-of-age novel, McMaster tells the story of Sooky, who struggles to overcome her difficult childhood, the effects of which are powerfully portrayed as she moves from relationship to relationship and from Brisbane to London."—Boston Globe
“I think it’s quite wonderful. Beautifully written. Engrossing and utterly involving and it does something new.”—Maureen Freely
"Let me say that Rhyll McMaster is an extraordinary writer. Her prose is dazzling, poetic and thought-provoking, and this is literary fiction at its best... I have likened Rhyll McMaster to Margaret Atwood. Atwood is brilliant, but in my view McMaster is even better. Feather Man has quite rightly won literary prizes in Australia and my money is on Feather Man making the Booker Prize longlist here." —Vulpes Libris
Winner of the Barbara Jefferis Award 2008
Winner of the Glenda Adams Award for New Writing 2008
Set in Brisbane during the stultifying 1950s and moving to grubby London in the 1970s, Feather Man is about Sooky who, ignored and misunderstood by her parents, is encouraged to make herself scarce and visit Lionel, their elderly next door neighbor.
The early pages of Feather Man are full of images of suburban life in Brisbane in the 1950s. The Thor washing machine thunders away. A kookaburra is perched on the oven door. Sooky’s mother is often chained to the treadmill of her sewing machine. The novel follows Sooky through four relationships with men and her entry into the art world, but the truth is, she is never able to survive unless a relationship is providing the context, however bad it may be.
My hands still gripped his shoulders. I felt the bat wings of hair that ran across his back. He pushed his face close to mine. I looked at his eyes. They were remarkable, glassy, with yellow rays, but now they had a white glare in them, as if I was looking
up close into the tunnel of a turned-on torch.
‘Whose girl are you?’ He gave my shoulders a shake.
‘I’m nobody’s girl. I’m me.’
Rhyll McMaster, born in 1947, started writing poetry whilst a child. Washing the Money won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Grace Leven Prize. Feather Man is her first novel.
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