Mateship with Birds

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan Australia, Feb 1, 2012 - Fiction - 224 pages
86 Reviews

Winner of the Stella Prize 2013

On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.

Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life - to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.

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Review: Mateship With Birds

User Review  - Dhitri - Goodreads

Call me a cultural cretin, but this book didn't work it for me. The premis was promising: a book about sexual tensions between neighbours set in rural Australia, built upon the metaphors of birds and ... Read full review

Review: Mateship With Birds

User Review  - Joodith - Goodreads

This is basically the story of young Michael whose sexual awakening is "helped" by friendly neighbour Harry. I think Harry is more about living out his own sexual fantasies through Michael, and if ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger in the Red Centre and now lives in Melbourne, where she works as an agricultural journalist. Her first novel, Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (2005) was shortlisted for numerous awards including the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, and won the Dobbie Award for Best First Book (2006) and the 2006 Western Australian Premier's Award for Fiction. Mateship with Birds is her second novel.

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