'Bookish boys and taciturn men, strong women and wayward sons, fathers and daughters, lovers and husbands, a composer and his muse, a builder-architect and his legacy - here are their stories, whole lives brought vividly into focus and so powerfully rooted in the landscape that you can almost feel the heat and the dust. His canvas is the vast Australian continent from the mysterious, glittering Valley of Lagoons behind the Great Divide in Far North Queensland, to bohemian Balmain and the Centre at Uluru, but always there are enticing glimpses of a world beyond, and the stories are tender, subtle, unsettlingly intimate. A young man going off to war tries to make sense of his place in the world he is leaving; a composer's life plays itself out as a complex domestic cantata; an accident on a hunting trip speaks volumes, which its inarticulate victim never could; and, in the funniest, most surprising story of all, a down-to-earth woman stubbornly tries to keep her feet on the ground at Ayers Rock. Malouf's men and women are together but curiously alone, looking for something they seem to have missed, or missed out on, in life, puzzling over the space they'll leave behind when the waters close over them...'
'Where There's Smoke presents outstanding short fiction by Australia's finest male writers. These are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and the extraordinary.
'A man sleeps at the site of a massacre and wakes refreshed. An unassuming piano tuner is sent off to contribute to the war effort. A woman with Alzheimer's is dragged along by her interfering son to visit Uluru.
'Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling in ways that only a great short story can.
'Chris Womersley Murray Bail Tim Winton Rodney Hall David Malouf Tony Birch Shane Maloney Ryan O'Neill Nam Le * Kim Scott