The Night Guest introduced an Australian writer 'with the promise of literary greatness' (Los Angeles Times). The High Places delivers on that promise.
The dazzling stories in this collection find those moments when people confront the strangeness and mystery of their lives. The revelations of intimidating old friends on holiday. An accident on a dark country road. A marine biologist in conversation with the ghost of Charles Darwin. The sudden arrival of American parachutists in a Queensland country town. A lottery win. A farmer troubled by miracles in the middle of a drought . . . The people in The High Places are jolted into seeing themselves from a fresh and often disconcerting perspective.
Ranging around the world from a remote Pacific island to outback Australia to the tourist haunts of Greece, these stories are written with extraordinary invention, great emotional insight and wry humour. Each one of them is as rich and rewarding as literature can be.
'This felt like a writer who was pitch perfect and just hit it on the nail with this book. We were all really impressed by, bluntly, a genius.' Dai Smith, Chair of Judges, Dylan Thomas Prize
'The High Places is superb . . . It's not just that McFarlane's descriptions are beautiful prose, though they are. The High Places is more deliberate than that, and more intelligent. McFarlane strikes an emotional note on every page, whether it be humour or nostalgia or discomfort or joy . . . Each story feels fresh and original . . . Nothing is forced and the reason I can't pick my favourite is that every one of the 13 stories is a winner.' The Saturday Paper
'Laden with wry wit and a deceptive simplicity . . . Moves boldly between place, perspective and voice, describing situations that manage to be both hysterically funny and quietly devastating at the same time . . . These singular images speak to the larger univer