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A Novel Idea

352 pages
Paperback, 21 x 16.5 cm
Published June 2019
ISBN 9781925818062

A Novel Idea

Fiona McGregor

An intimate photographic portrait of a writer’s working life.

A unique, intimate portrait of a writer’s working life, as experienced by one of Australia’s most highly regarded novelists and artists.

A Novel Idea is a memoir in photoessay form that follows Fiona McGregor’s life as she writes her award-winning novel Indelible Ink. It is a tongue-in-cheek rumination on the monotony and loneliness of the novelist’s daily life, and the act of endurance the writer must perform.

Through an extended sequence of photographs taken on a hand-me-down camera, accompanied by terse, evocative captions, the book spans several years of labour and procrastination, elation and despair. The details of the outside world intrude as McGregor works on the novel alone in her Bondi flat, with nothing but a desk, a pin-board, a laptop and a cat, and in studio spaces in Berlin and Estonia.

McGregor’s voice is wry, vulnerable, at times caustic, capturing the colloquial qualities of her fiction and the durational nature of her performance art via the ephemeral and essential thoughts that take up an author’s days, weeks, and years.

About the Author

Fiona McGregor

Fiona McGregor’s latest book is the photoessay A Novel Idea, a tongue-in-cheek rumination on the process of writing a novel. Her novel Indelible Ink won the Age Book of the Year. Her other books include the travel memoir Strange Museums, and the short story collection Suck My Toes/Dirt, which won the Steele Rudd Award.

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Reviews

A unique insight into the often rarefied process of writing.

The Saturday Paper

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