7 books by authors in regional WA you should be reading

7 books by authors in regional WA you should be reading

Jasmine Eales

It’s Book Week, and the 2021 theme is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds.

This week you might begin to see your social media feeds flooded with photos of children dressed in the most adorable costumes. Don’t think just because you’re a little older you can’t also join in and celebrate a love of reading.

If you’re anything like me, you promised yourself on New Year’s Eve that this is the year that you would get through that growing to be read pile. Maybe you’re making great progress, maybe you’re not…. (Spoiler: I’m not). But this list of great books from authors in regional WA is a sure-fire way to re-ignite that flame and make sure you stay on track.

From children to young adults to young at heart, it’s time to celebrate great literature!

The Dog with Seven Names

Dianne Wolfer | Minang Country/Great Southern
Genre: Children’s, Historical

A tiny dog is born on a remote Pilbara cattle station. She shouldn’t have survived, but when Elsie finds, names, and loves her, the pup becomes a cherished companion. Life is perfect… until war arrives.

With Japanese air raids moving closer, Elsie’s family leaves the station for safety in the south. But the small dog has to stay behind. After travelling far from home with drovers and a flying doctor, she becomes a hospital dog and experiences the impact of war on north-western Australia.

But through all her adventures and many names, the little dog remembers Elsie, the girl who loved her best of all. Will she ever find her again?

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Maya of the In-Between

Sita Bennett | Wardandi Country/South West
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Right on theme for 2021, this novel has a slow-burn love story that explores two extreme versions of Earth’s future through contrasting inter-dimensional worlds.

One is Dystopian—in which humans ignore the repercussions of industrialisation on nature, and the other Utopian—where humans live in harmony with nature and each other.

Maya is shy, quiet and insecure. She doesn’t feel like she fits into her world and dreams of the utopia she sees through her visions and paintings.  Embarking on a journey of self-discovery to find her utopia, Maya embraces her personal power as life unfolds around her.

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Red Can Origami

Madelaine Dickie | Thalanyji Country/Gascoyne
Genre: Literary Fiction

Ava has just landed a job as a reporter in Gubinge, a tiny tropical town in Australia’s north. Gubinge has a way of getting under the skin. Ava is hooked on the thrill of going hand-to-hand with barramundi, awed by country, and stunned by pindan sunsets. But a bitter collision between a native title group and a Japanese-owned uranium mining company is ripping the community in half.

From the rodeos and fishing holes of northern Australia to the dazzling streets of night-time Tokyo, Ava is swept in pursuit of the story. Will Gerro Blue destroy Burrika Country? Or will a uranium mine lift its people from poverty? And can Ava hold on to her principles if she gives in to her desire for Noah, the local Burrika boss?

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Dire Conditions

SJ Eeles | Wangkathaa Country/Goldfields-Esperance
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Recently published, Dire Conditions is a twisted psychological thriller you cannot put down.

Karen De Lacy is a wealthy socialite in love with her shallow life. When she is abducted on a trip from Perth to Kalgoorlie, she finds herself in a deadly game of survival, not just against her would-be killer, but the hostile outback itself.

Filled with twists and turns, and a shock ending you’ll have to read to discover.

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Donna Mazza | Wardandi Country/South West
Genre: Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction

Set in South West WA, seventeen years into a very recognisable future, this is an astonishing psychological drama with an incredible twist: What if the child you are carrying is not entirely human?

Longing for another child, Stacey is recruited by LifeBLOOD®, a company that offers massive incentives for her to join an experimental genetics program. As part of the agreement, Stacey and her husband’s embryo will be blended with edited cells. Just how edited, Stacey doesn’t really know. Nor does she have any idea how much her longed-for new daughter will change her life and that of her family. Or how hard she will have to fight to protect her.

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The Sky Runs Right Through Us

Reneé Pettitt-Schipp | Minang Country/Great Southern
Genre: Poetry

If you need a break from fiction and consider yourself a lover of poetry, you need to read The Sky Runs Right Through Us.

Deeply personal, and at times political, this work examines place, ecology and relationships and was inspired by Reneé Pettitt-Schipp’s work with asylum seekers in detention on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

This collection was shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett manuscript prize and the 2019 CHASS Australia Student Prize. In 2019, the collection won the Greg Crombie ‘Work of the Year’ in the Humanities Research Awards, and the WA Premier’s Literary Award for an Emerging Writer.

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 Image by Itu Chaudhuri Design.

Cups of Nun Chai

Alana Hunt | Miriwoong Country/East Kimberley
Genre: Journalism, Photography, Memoir

This novel records the sharing of one hundred and eighteen cups of nun chai, and just as many conversations. Each cup was a part of a growing memorial for one hundred and eighteen civilians killed in the protests that shook the Kashmir valley during the summer of 2010.

This is an archive of small moments, marking each loss and moving against the normalisation of political violence and death. Spanning the spheres of contemporary art, literature, social-science and journalism, Cups of nun chai is a poignant act of memorialisation—a means of remembering, reading and reminding.

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*(also available at Rabble Books, Perth)

If you’re looking to explore more local authors in your community check out the Love to Read Local literary map, an initiative by Writing WA.

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