Ryan O'Neill has worked as an English language teacher in Lithuania, China and Rwanda before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. His fiction has appeared in The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Ink, Etchings and Westerly. His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and the Age Short-Story Prize. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.
'In Their Brilliant Careers, Ryan O’Neill has written a hilarious novel in the guise of sixteen biographies of (invented) Australian writers. Meet Rachel Deverall, who discovers the secret female source of the great literature of our time – and pays a terrible price for her discovery. Meet Rand Washington, hugely popular sci-fi author (of Whiteman of Cor) and holder of extreme views on race and gender. Meet Addison Tiller, the master of the bush yarn, “The Chekhov of Coolabah”, who has never travelled outside Sydney.
Their Brilliant Careers is a playful set of stories, linked in many ways, which together form a memorable whole. It is a wonderful comic tapestry of the writing life, and a large-scale parody in which every detail adds to the humour of the overall picture' (publication blurb).
'Sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, this collection turns the rules of storytelling on their head.
'A series of graphs illustrates the disintegration of a marriage, step by excruciating step. A literary stoush - and an affair - play out in the book review section of a national newspaper. The heartbreaking story of a Rwandan boy is hidden within his English exam paper. A young girl learns her mother's disturbing secrets through the broken key on a typewriter.
'Ranging from Australia to Africa to China and back again, The Weight of a Human Heart heralds a fresh new voice in Australian literature.' (From the publisher's website.)