Fiona McFarlane was born in Sydney, and has degrees in English from Sydney University and Cambridge University, and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, Southerly, the Best Australian Stories and the New Yorker, and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy and the Australia Council for the Arts. The Night Guest, her debut novel, has sold into fifteen territories around the world. She lives in Sydney.
'The stories in this enthralling collection find those moments - and places - when life seems to do an about-face. The revelations of intimidating old friends on holiday, an accident on a dark country road, a lottery win and a lesson in the real nature of luck, the sudden arrival of American parachutists in a country town . . . here people are jolted into seeing themselves and their lives from a fresh and often disconcerting perspective.
'Ranging around the world from a remote Pacific island to the tourist haunts of Greece and written with great emotional insight, extraordinary invention and wry humour, each of these stories is as rich and rewarding as literature can be.' (Publication summary)
'The debut of a major Australian writer, The Night Guest is a mesmerising novel about trust, love, dependence, and the fear that the things you think you know may become the things you're least sure about.
One morning an elderly widow called Ruth wakes thinking a tiger has been in her seaside house. Later that day a formidable woman called Frida arrives, looking as if she's blown in from the sea, but who has in fact come to care for Ruth.
Frida and the tiger: both are here to stay, and neither is what they seem. How far can Ruth trust them? And as memories of childhood in Fiji press upon her with increasing urgency, how far can she trust herself?
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane's hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about ageing, love, power and perception; about how the past can colonise the present, and about things (and people) in places they shouldn't be. Above all, it's a brilliantly involving story about two very particular women.' (Publisher's blurb)