31 October 2010
Valley of Grace
Marion Halligan, Valley of Grace, Allen and Unwin, 2009.
Shortlisted for the 2010 ACT Book of the Year*.
Valley of Grace is an interwoven narrative of modern day Paris.
Fanny and Gerard fall in love in a way that surprises even them as their lives fill with good sex and loving companionship. But they long for a child to complete their happiness. Two of Fanny's lesbian friends feel similarly driven by the need to have a child. But how to make that possible?
Jean-Marie is an internationally regarded professor of philosophy whose adoring students are willing sexual partners fulfilling the tenets of his libertarianism. But perhaps philosophy can't bear the weight of human emotion.
When Gerard buys a beautiful old house in the suburbs, the disturbing contents of the attic binds the stories into an intriguing and darkly disturbing knot.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marion Halligan is an award-winning novelist, essayist and short-story writer with many prizes to her name, including The Age Book of the Year, the ACT Book of the Year, the Nita B. Kibble Award, the Steele Rudd Award, the Braille Book of the Year, the 3M Talking Book of the Year and the Geraldine Pascall prize for critical writing. She has also been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Dublin IMPAC Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. Her previous works include The Point, The Fog Garden, A Taste of Memory, The Apricot Colonel, Murder on the Apricot Coast, and Valley of Grace.
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*The ACT Book of the Year recognises quality contemporary Australian literary works including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. To be eligible for the ACT Book of the Year the author must either reside in the ACT or strongly demonstrate an ACT literary practice, and the book must have been published in the calendar year preceding the year of nomination.
The ACT Government, through the ACT Arts Fund administered by artsACT, has offered an ACT Book of the Year award since 1993. The 2010 winner will be announced in November from the shortlist selected by a panel comprising Ms Mauren Bettle (ACT Cultural Council), Ms Kathryn Favelle and Mr Anthony Eaton.