WINNER OF THE STELLA PRIZE 2013
"clever, original and richly rewarding" Australian Bookseller & Publisher
"it might just be the sweetest book about sex you will ever read" Sydney Morning Herald
On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.
Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life - to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.
Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2013
Winner of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards' Christina Stead Prize 2013
Finalist of the Melbourne Prize for Literature for Best Writing Award 2012
Shortlisted for the VIC Premier's Literary Awards' Prize for Fiction 2013 and Prime Minister's Literary Awards' Prize for Fiction 2013
Longlisted for Nita B Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers' Kibble Literary Award 2013