Edited by Sonya Hartnett

The Best Australian Stories 2012

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These stories are breath-takers, the ones which render nothing more important than discovering what happens next. —Sonya Hartnett

The Best Australian Stories 2012 is the country’s premier annual collection of short fiction. This year sees Sonya Hartnett select thirty-two remarkable stories that roam widely in subject and style, but share “a delicate complexity and a vibrant cleverness.”

A travelling scout for a modern-day freak show meets a girl with a strange and wonderful gift. A winning lottery ticket tests the bonds of three mismatched siblings. A beast of burden offers an alternative account of Australian settlement.

There is dark humour, stealthy and unsettling, and moments of terror, whimsy, romance and surprise. What unites them is a steadfast commitment to the storyteller’s art – the art of making the reader want to turn the page.

‘Almost all the stories curated by Hartnett were new to me and reading them was a treat … As with the poems, this outstanding collection confirms the robust health of the Australian short story.’ —the Australian

‘You'd be hard to please if you found nothing in this collection to make you want to linger and relish what you’d discovered.’ —Sydney Morning Herald

Sonya Hartnett is the internationally acclaimed author of several novels. In 2003, her adult novel, Of a Boy, won the Age Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.
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444 printed pages
Original publication


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