The Art of Persuasion
I'm excited that Fremantle Press is publishing my first novel, to be released on 1st April 2018, and available in bookshops in late March. My editor, Georgia Richter, was such a pleasure to work with, as were the wonderful marketing women Claire Miller and Heather Blakey. And isn't the cover beautiful? I'm also thrilled to have endorsements on the cover, by two of Australia's most acclaimed fiction writers: Michelle de Kretser, winner of the Miles Franklin Award, and Ryan O'Neill, winner of the Prime Minister's Award for fiction.
ABOUT THE ART OF PERSUASION
Twenty-five-year-old Hazel is reading the classics, starting with 'A'. It's one way to pass the time when you've quit your job and lost your way. But then she has a chance encounter with an irresistible older man. When Hazel is partnered with him on a political campaign, her attraction is deepened by the strength of his convictions. Adam seems to be attracted to her too – but why is he resisting? And what does Jane Austen have to teach a young woman about life, love and literature in the twenty-first century?
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
'Completely compelling. Here is a rarity; a witty and tender comedy of manners that also has political bite.' Michelle de Kretser
'Warm, witty and wonderful – a perfect modern romance.' Ryan O'Neill
'This novel was a joy from the first to the last page.' Maureen Eppen, Shelf Aware
'In this smart, funny novel, Susan Midalia engages the reader with warmth and wit while never losing sight of the uncomfortable truths that haunt us as Western Australians.' WritingWA
'This delightful first novel from the former WA academic is sprinkled with the kind of wit and character observations that endeared Austen to generations of readers. Like a cup of chamomile laced with a splash of gin, it will comfort the soul and lift the spirits for the day ahead.' The Weekend West
'Midalia, the author of three short-story collections, expands the canvas in this debut novel.' Weekend Australian
'There is much to discover and love in The Art of Persuasion, whether it be the clever and satisfying plot, the sassy, witty and strong heroine...or even just the love of language, words and literature that come through on the page.' (five stars) Emily Paull, Book Spotlight
The Art of Persuasion by Susan Midalia: Warm, biting, funny, compelling. I loved it. Side note: check out those heavy duty cover quotes! De Kretser & O'Neill if you don't mind. Robert Lukins, author of the novel The Everlasting Sunday
A History of the Beanbag
This is my first collection of short stories, shortlisted for the WA Premier's Book Awards in 2008.
ABOUT A HISTORY OF THE BEANBAG
With photographic precision, Susan Midalia captures the fleeting beauty, light and darkness in the ephemera of everyday life. From the silences between people and the ordinariness of places, objects and events, she conjures narrative jewels of intelligence and grace. A collection with a difference - a scenic tour of the surprises, secrets and fears beneath the cracked veneer of domesticity and suburban complacency. Like the beanbag of the title, the stories are an invitation to settle yourself in for a reading experience by turns vivid, haunting, bizarre and strangely comforting.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
'These are stories distinguished by their profound sensitivity to the unexpressed dimensions of ordinary people; they are works of rare lucidity, integrity and sureness of style. A beautiful and wholly accomplished collection.' Gail Jones
'These are finely crafted and carefully observed stories about life in suburban settings.' Sydney Morning Herald
'This writer abolishes ordinariness by showing that it is usually extraordinary if you consider it attentively ... her gifts are those of a remarkable poise and clarity of manner, and an economy and range in storytelling which sustains interest from first to last.' Adelaide Review.
'Midalia is particularly good with life's awkwardnesses, especially as endured by the innocent and naive ... Deep in the heart of heart of the most comfortable suburbia there's a faulty valve, and Midalia is adept at finding it.' The Australian Literary Review.
'... poetic and poignant, vivid and entertaining.' Subiaco Post.
An Unknown Sky
My second collection of stories was written with the assistance of a generous grant from the Australia Council. It was published in 2012, and was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award (part of the Queensland Premiers Book Awards), Australia's only prize for short story collections by a single author. By creating a range of characters who are very different from me, I have engaged in acts of ventriloquism and the empathetic imagination. It's also an immensely pleasurable process to get out of your own head for a while and pretend to be someone else!
ABOUT AN UNKNOWN SKY
Tourists in Moscow and Vienna confronted by the weight of history. A young student teacher discovering her capacity for compassion. A teenage boy defending his mother's reputation. A man anguished by his sister's illness. An ageing widow infatuated with a troubled young man. Conflicts between the silent burdens of the past and the drama of everyday lives. Written with eloquence, grace and emotional generosity, these stories seek understanding rather than judgement, inviting us to reflect on the unspoken longings and regrets that make up who we are.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
'beautifully written and never over-written ... Midalia is a master of inference drawn from detail.' Australian Book Review
'Midalia's skill at presenting big ideas through everyday experience demonstrates how powerful good writing can be.' West Australian
'... stories that unerringly and gracefully obtain rare vantage points on life.' The Australian
Feet to the Stars
My third and most recent collection of short stories continues my interest in the psychology of characters: their complex motives, their different levels of self-awareness, their often unspoken desires and fears. I've also created a range of tones, variously poignant, bleak and (my younger son declared) laugh-out-loud funny.
The same son also told me that I had to stop writing about sex. My mother told me to stop using bad language in my stories. My husband told me to stop killing off husbands in my stories. My book has thus (inadvertently) adhered to the warnings that precede a TV show: 'It contains sexual references, coarse language and adult themes.'
ABOUT FEET TO THE STARS
Susan Midalia’s third collection of short stories offers keenly observed details about everyday life expressed with pathos, tenderness and bracing wit. Subtly rendered and emotionally engaging, these stories speak of the transformative capacities of the heart and mind, and of the ways we affect one another, sometimes unwittingly and often profoundly. They offer us the pleasure of listening to different voices, and the satisfaction of careful crafting and evocative prose.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
'Corporeality and the emotional resonance of the body permeate the collection in vivid descriptions that pay attention to all the senses.' Westerly Magazine
'Each character is unique and closely observed. They have their own way of speaking, their own perspectives. This is a writer who goes deeply into their inner lives and uses language as well as sentiment to convey this.' Australian Book Review
She is at her best in the kind of semi-domestic realism associated with Katherine Mansfield, where fleeting moments of realisation or transcendence take place among the teacups and gardens of people's ordinary lives... While far from either sentimentality or naivety, this collection is nevertheless lit up by optimism about the possibility of fearless ageing, and of happy love. Sydney Morning Herald.