If you’re interested in supporting Victoria-based writers who have put a debut novel out in 2020, then this is the list for you!
Please consider buying one or more (or all!) of the books on this list from your local bookshop (https://www.booksellers.org.au/find-a-bookshop) – or even a Victoria-based one, if you can. Penguin Random House has put together this excellent Click for Vic resource to support Victoria’s independent bookshops.
(If you’re a Victoria-based writer who would like your 2020 debut novel to be added to this list, please complete the form at the bottom of the page.)
A Jealous Tide (Splice, July 2020)
Genre: Historical fiction
The Last Circus on Earth (Brio Books, July 2020)
No Small Shame (Ventura Press [Impact], 1 April 2020)
Drowning in the Shallows (Melbourne Books, April 2020)
Drowning in the Shallows is a comedy about heartache, a satire of society, a coming-of-age tale about a man in his 30s who is only now growing up, and a love story about a man and his beloved evil cat.
She I Dare Not Name: A Spinster’s Meditations on Life (Allen & Unwin, March 2020)
“Reading She I Dare Not Name is like encountering a place of total stillness in a world of incessant, incoherent clamour. Disarmingly intimate, immense in its implication, intellectually peripatetic, it is a remarkable, profound, even necessary book.” —James Bradley, author of Clade.
Blueberries (Text Publishing, 3 March 2020)
Eleanor’s Mind (Self-Published, 4 April 2020)
Spice Trader (Self-Published, 31st October 2020)
The Spill (Viking – Penguin, 2 June 2020)
No two people ever experience or remember the same thing in the same way – especially when they’re sisters. The Spill explores the cycles of love, loss and regret that can follow a family through the years – moments of joy, things left unsaid, and things misremembered. Above all, it is a deeply moving portrait of two sisters falling apart and finding a way to fit back together.
Genre: Literary commercial fiction
J Victoria Michael
Songbird (Volume 1) (Odyssey Books, 20th June 2020)
Griffin Song Trilogy’s protagonist is a vulnerable, not-always-nice Melbourne woman who saves an amazing Gift for a devastated realm, and shines new light on our view of human ability.
Genre: Portal fantasy for grown-ups.
GriffinSinger (Volume 2) (Odyssey Books, September 2020)
FleetWalker (Volume 3) (Odyssey Books, November 2020)
The Secret Library of Hummingbird House (Affirm Press, July 2020)
I’ve Got a Tail! Terrific Tails of the Animal World (Amicus Ink USA, 25 February 2020)
Where The Truth Lies (Simon & Schuster, 23 February 2020)
A flawed but feisty Melbourne journalist investigates a death at the wharf only to be caught in a war between blue and white-collar crime, and as she battles her own demons an even greater threat is in play to stop her revealing the truth.
Almost a Mirror (Transit Lounge, 1 April 2020)
Blackbirch: The Beginning (Self-Published, 17 February 2020)
Struggling with the loss of his family, seventeen-year-old Josh Taylor returns to the place of his birth, Blackbirch, a small town steeped in a history of witchcraft. Amongst forgotten friends and the life he’s trying to rebuild, he is haunted by nightmares that reveal a hidden magic in his veins and a warning to run from those who seek to find it.
Blackbirch: The Dark Half (Self-Published, 17 July 2020)
Now that the origins of his power have been revealed, Josh Taylor’s search for answers continues with the arrival of Kallie—a girl running from her own secrets. She shows Josh how to use his gift in ways he didn’t know were possible, but as they push the limits of their abilities, they discover there are consequences to messing with magick.
Genre: YA Magic Realism
Cherry Beach (Text Publishing, 4 February 2020)
Laura Jean McKay
The Animals In That Country (Scribe Publications, 31 March 2020)
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Sheer Water (Harper Collins Fourth Estate, April 2020)
When Ava stops to help at a shocking accident on her way to her new home in Sheerwater, her young sons go missing. Racing over three tense, emotional days towards a nail-biting conclusion, Sheerwater explores fear, darkness and the heroic acts we take for love.
Genre: Literary Fiction/Suspense
The Fogging (Scribe Publications, 2 July 2020)
Wild Fearless Chests (Hachette, 28 January 2020)
Rural Dreams (MidnightSun Publishing, October 2020)
Funny, heartbreaking and true: Rural Dreams highlights the richness of life on the land and showcases the beauty of lives lived outside city walls.
Genre: Adult fiction; Short stories.
Life, Bound (MidnightSun Publishing, October 2020)
Nellé May Pierce
7 Steps To Get Your Child Reading (Allen & Unwin, February 2020)
The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin’ Castle (Walker Books, July 2020)
Lament (Hawkeye Books, October 2020)
A reimagining of the Kelly story told from Ned’s perspective. If Glenrowan had turned out differently, what would have happened next for the Kelly Gang? How would history remember them?
Genre: Historical Fiction
Beneath the Fig Leaves (Affirm Press, 31 March 2020)
Beneath the Fig Leaves is a mother-daughter memoir set in Melbourne and Greece. A compelling story of sacrifice and new beginnings, reconnection and self discovery, it is a rich tapestry of family, food and history.
Poly (Ventura Press, 2 September 2020)
Chris and Sarah Flood decide to open their (sexless) marriage and, in doing so, fall headfirst into polyamory. Told entirely from Chris’s often unreliable point of view, Poly is a raw, hilarious, and moving portrait of contemporary relationships in all their diversity, of masculinity and mental health in crisis, and an intimate exploration of the fragility of love and identity.
Genre: Contemporary fiction/ Dark romantic comedy
The Adversary (Hamish Hamilton – Penguin, April 2020)
Turbulence (UWAP, April 2020)
Everything in its Right Place (Transit Lounge, October 2020)
Kokomo (Hachette, July 2020)
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