Winner of the Mslexia Novella Award
Saraband, December 2019
‘As an act of empathy, as well as a beautifully rendered work of literature, Joan Smokes shines.’ — Eloise Millar, Mslexia Novella Prize judge
A Superior Spectre
Peter Bishop Books (Ventura), August 2018
Saraband, August 2019
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Audiobook: Bolinda | Audible | Google Play | Amazon
Shorlisted: MUD Literary Prize for a literary debut novel
Shortlisted: Australian Book Industry Award, Best Adult Book from a Small Press
Shortlisted: Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Shortlisted: Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction
Shortlisted: Saltire Society Literary Awards First Book Award
‘A book you’ll read in a thrilling rush and then think about for months’ – Emily Maguire
‘This is one of those rare books that penetrates deep into the reader’s most secret self. Read it and hold it close.’ – The Saturday Paper
‘[A] hugely impressive debut novel: imaginative and original, erotic and a little bit magical.’ – The Herald Scotland
‘This exquisite novel invites the reader to face the ghosts that haunt the dark corridors of the mind.’ – Justine Hyde, Kill Your Darlings
‘Unique, rich and incredibly sensual… Clever, convincing and unputdownable…’ – Karen Brooks
‘If you care about the future of Australian fiction, look no further.’ – Readings
‘Weighty themes of lust, shame and the power of the male gaze are beautifully balanced by a moving narrative…’ – The Daily Mail (UK)
‘A Superior Spectre [provides] an opportunity to acknowledge what reading does to us and for us.’ – Craig Hildebrand
‘Put simply, this book is superb.’ – Helen Valentina
Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with the shame of his desires, he runs away to remote Scotland with a piece of experimental tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives a contented life in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature, her hands and mind kept busy. Contemplating her future and the social conventions that bind her, a secret romantic friendship with the local laird is interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh – an intimidating, sooty city; the place where her mother perished.
But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions that bear no resemblance to anything she has ever seen or known…
A Superior Spectre is a highly accomplished debut novel about our capacity for curiosity, and our dangerous entitlement to it, and reminds us the scariest ghosts aren’t those that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.
‘A wild and risky novel, artfully darting between two people separated by centuries and connected by… you’ll see.’ – Steven Amsterdam
‘A beautiful and troubling novel that subtly explores how the past haunts the present.’ – Ceridwen Dovey
‘This is a book about the blurring of lines: of social and class-based gendered demarcations; of the base expression of the flesh and of the higher aspirations of the mind; of sci-fi and reality.’ – Sydney Morning Herald/The Age
‘In this meta-possession, we are all complicit.’ – The Australian
‘Meyer’s full-length debut is a brilliant, deeply unsettling work with the unapologetically feminist rage, passion and awareness of books such as The Natural Way of Things or Margaret Atwood’s seminal The Handmaid’s Tale. Meyer is bold and unafraid in her words, immersing the reader in a vividly imagined and realised world that meets questions of bodily autonomy, madness and disgust head on.’ – Books+Publishing
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Inkerman & Blunt
Captives opens with a husband pointing his gun at his wife. There’s a woman who hears ‘the hiss of Beelzebub behind people’s voices’, a photographer who captures the desire to suicide, a man locked in a toilet who may never get out, a couple who grow young, and a prisoner who learns to swallow like a python.
Meyer’s language is subtle and skilful, giving us flashes of unsettling truths, peppered with dark humour.—Brigid Mullane, Readings Monthly
Angela Meyer’s Captives is a collection of shimmering story wafers, each of which hovers at exactly the sweet spot of just enough. Individually piercing, Meyer’s fiction slices fit together like the best poetry does, amplifying what came before and chiming with what comes after.—Tania Hershman
Captives… imagines the end of time, not as a distant prospect, but as an inevitability that we carry with us in the present.—NANO Fiction (US)
One of the form’s most vital practitioners.—William Yeoman, The West Australian
The influence of Kafka on Captives is impossible to miss… But, at the same time, the collection is wonderfully innovative – not only in form, but in content, too. In print at least, microfiction is intriguing new territory, and it’s territory Angela Meyer seems to have mastered.—Michelle McLaren, Newtown Review of Books
Her best stories are like the perfect skeletons of small animals, from which a warm and living body may be easily imagined.—Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald/Age
[T]he writing stays full of light and darkness. It startles. It prompts the reader to reflect, to cross-examine existence. Meyer captures the everyday with conflict and tension, with a subtle interrogation of life and death.—Eugen Bacon, Mascara Literary Review
The conflict in these stories is palpable, between one place and another, one memory and one reality, between desire and frustration … Despite the length—some no more than a paragraph—[the stories] suggest entire realities that lay submerged beneath the consciousness of the page.—Craig Hildebrand-Burke, NSW Writers’ Centre blog
The space beyond the stories is essential, and the words themselves appear with an illusory ease and simplicity … These tiny stories have a pressing, bruising quality—Jo Langdon, Cordite Poetry Review
The reader passes through a scene or a moment like a ghost.—Tristan Foster, Entropy Magazine
…you find yourself stilled into a moment beyond the everyday, feeling a deep sense of unease.—Lisa Hill, ANZLitLovers
Angela Meyer’s microfictions introduce a new and welcome voice. At her best she is very good. Everything is alive, nothing is explained.—Rodney Hall
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The Great Unknown: stories
Edited by Angela Meyer
Order from Readings, Booktopia, Avid Reader, Fishpond (free worldwide shipping), Amazon, or your local bookstore: ISBN 9780987447937. Mobi and ePub versions on Tomely ($9.99).
‘Sexy, scary, often strangely beautiful, these stories are a darkling delight’—James Bradley
An anthology of down-under short stories ‘inspired by’ the mood, imagery, themes and/or political interests of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Featuring some of the best short story writers in Australia, along with the winner and shortlisted stories from the Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award 2013.
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