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y separately published work icon Flames single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Flames
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'FROM its opening sentence Robbie Arnott’s debut novel reveals a world as old as storytelling itself.

'A young man named Levi McAllister decides to build a coffin for his twenty-three-year-old sister, Charlotte— who promptly runs for her life. A water rat swims upriver in quest of the cloud god. A fisherman named Karl hunts for tuna in partnership with a seal. And a father takes form from fire.

'The answers to these riddles are to be found in this tale of grief and love and the bonds of family, tracing a journey across the southern island that takes us full circle.

'Flames sings out with joy and sadness. Utterly original in conception, beguiling in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of the power of language, it announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in contemporary fiction. (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Alex White

  • Epigraph: The western clouds divided and subdivided themselves into pink flakes modulated with tints of unspeakable softness; and the air had so much life and sweetness, that it was a pain to come within doors. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Nature'

  • In 2019, Flames was shortlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize. The prize is partly by public vote and partly by nominated 'book champions': Flames was shortlisted by 'book champion' Storyhouse library in Chester. (Source: https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2019/08/13/137622/arnotts-flames-shortlisted-for-not-the-booker/). (Sighted: 13/08/2019)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 6545796438056070418.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 256p.
      Note/s:
      • Published May 2018

      ISBN: 9781925603521
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Atlantic Books ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 5991850926633560822.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 1vp.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1 November 2018

      ISBN: 9781786496270

Works about this Work

Books Roundup Flames, A Superior Spectre, One Hundred Years of Dirt Ellen Cregan , Justine Hyde , Chloë Cooper , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings [Online] , July 2018;

— Review of Flames Robbie Arnott , 2018 single work novel ; A Superior Spectre Angela Meyer , 2018 single work novel ; One Hundred Years of Dirt Rick Morton , 2018 single work autobiography
Robbie Arnott : Flames KN , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 19-25 May 2018;

'Flames, a first novel by the Tasmanian Robbie Arnott, begins with a protagonist, Levi McAllister, observing his mother returning from death, her waist trailing a “peacock tail of vegetation” and her head adorned with “cascading fronds of lawn-coloured maidenhair”. Such reincarnations are common among McAllister women who have been cremated and who, as the narrative comically describes, “all had their own reasons for returning – unfinished business, old grudges, forgotten chores”. Determined to prevent his sister Charlotte from returning when she dies, Levi undertakes the construction of a casket for her, even though she is still young and healthy. Charlotte flees, triggering a surprising story with a definite feminist edge.'  (Introduction)

Kaleidoscope Amy Baillieu , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 401 2018; (p. 37)

'Robbie Arnott’s Flames is an exuberantly creative and confident début. Set in an alternate Tasmania, Flames’s kaleidoscopic narrative crackles with energy and imagination. This is a world of briefly reincarnating women, gin-swigging private detectives, wombat farms, malevolent cormorants, elementals and nature gods, fishermen who form lifelong bonds with seals, and coffee-table books about coffins; a world in which the complex bonds of love and family are further compounded by enhanced abilities, supernatural influences, and unusual genetic legacies. While some characters and developments are inspired by real events and people, this is a story that sparks with invention.' (introduction)

Books Roundup Flames, A Superior Spectre, One Hundred Years of Dirt Ellen Cregan , Justine Hyde , Chloë Cooper , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings [Online] , July 2018;

— Review of Flames Robbie Arnott , 2018 single work novel ; A Superior Spectre Angela Meyer , 2018 single work novel ; One Hundred Years of Dirt Rick Morton , 2018 single work autobiography
Kaleidoscope Amy Baillieu , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 401 2018; (p. 37)

'Robbie Arnott’s Flames is an exuberantly creative and confident début. Set in an alternate Tasmania, Flames’s kaleidoscopic narrative crackles with energy and imagination. This is a world of briefly reincarnating women, gin-swigging private detectives, wombat farms, malevolent cormorants, elementals and nature gods, fishermen who form lifelong bonds with seals, and coffee-table books about coffins; a world in which the complex bonds of love and family are further compounded by enhanced abilities, supernatural influences, and unusual genetic legacies. While some characters and developments are inspired by real events and people, this is a story that sparks with invention.' (introduction)

Robbie Arnott : Flames KN , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 19-25 May 2018;

'Flames, a first novel by the Tasmanian Robbie Arnott, begins with a protagonist, Levi McAllister, observing his mother returning from death, her waist trailing a “peacock tail of vegetation” and her head adorned with “cascading fronds of lawn-coloured maidenhair”. Such reincarnations are common among McAllister women who have been cremated and who, as the narrative comically describes, “all had their own reasons for returning – unfinished business, old grudges, forgotten chores”. Determined to prevent his sister Charlotte from returning when she dies, Levi undertakes the construction of a casket for her, even though she is still young and healthy. Charlotte flees, triggering a surprising story with a definite feminist edge.'  (Introduction)

Last amended 19 Sep 2019 11:45:21
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