A Novel Idea

Fiona McGregor



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.

High-res cover image

ISBN : 9781925818062
pp : 352
Published : June 2019

About the Author

Fiona McGregor’s latest book is the photoessay A Novel Idea, a tongue-in-cheek rumination on the process of writing a novel through the rubric of endurance performance. 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, and the underground classic chemical palace. Fiona is also known for an extensive repertoire of performance art with a focus on the body, duration and endurance. She has been active in Sydney’s alternative queer culture since the early 90s. In 2021, Giramondo will publish Buried Not Dead, a collection of essays.