The Cuckoo's Song

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Amra Pajalic, Jan 30, 2022 - Fiction

Award-winning author Amra Pajalić showcases her gritty, poignant and sometimes bruising voice in this eclectic short story book of previously published and prize-winning stories. Featuring powerful and moving stories of family dissolution, deprivation of war, tenderness of family and the heart-rending experiences of mental illness. Thriller stories with a twist of vindictiveness and retribution, and love stories that make the heart sing, this collection will delight and entertain.      

The Cuckoo’s Song—Francesca is ten when a gypsy fortune-teller told her the day and the hour of her death and she has been waiting since. 

Fragments—Seka and her brother forage for books in a bombed-out school in Srebrenica during the Balkan war. 

Friends Forever—Two lifelong friends share a room at a nursing home, as well as a secret or two. 

School of Hardknocks—Amina is a new high school student after migrating from Bosnia and struggles to acclimate to the Aussie way of life. 

Woman on Fire—A young girl lives with her mother’s boyfriend when her mentally ill mother is admitted into hospital.


Selected pages


The Cuckoos Song
Flirty Eyes
In Treatment
Nervous Breakdowns
The Choice
Suicide Watch
The Heart of the Matter
Friends Forever
School of Hardknocks
Woman on Fire

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About the author (2022)

Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. Her short story collection The Cuckoo’s Song (Pishukin Press, 2022) features previously published and prize-winning stories. Her debut novel The Good Daughter, was published by Text Publishing in 2009 and won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award and is re-released as Sabiha’s Dilemma (Pishukin Press, 2022).

Her memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me (Transit Lounge, 2019) was shortlisted for the 2020 National Biography Award. She is co-editor of the anthology Growing up Muslim in Australia (Allen and Unwin, 2014) which was shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of the year awards. She works as a high school teacher and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University.

A. P. Pajalic is the pen name that Amra Pajalić uses to publish her dark fiction stories. Amra writes young adult and memoir, and publishes her romance novels using pen name Mae Archer. 

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