Full of suspense, Harmless, is the tightly woven story of eight year old Amanda, whose father is in prison, and Rattuwat, a Thai man burying his daughter in a strange land. Abandoning their broken-down car on the way to the prison’s visiting hour, Amanda and Rattuwat venture into the trackless scrub of Australia’s outer suburbs. As the day heats up, the sense of menace intensifies as each of them enters the no-man’s-land between safety and peril.
Julienne van Loon
is the author of Road Story (2005) and Beneath the Bloodwood Tree (2008). She won the Australian Vogel Award for Road Story, which was also shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book (Asia and Pacific) and for the WA Premier’s Book Awards for Fiction. Julienne teaches writing at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Her shorter works have appeared in The Monthly and Griffith Review.
‘… the whole canvas of Australian life — its ethnic diversity, its violence, its growing divisions of class and economic status, its convoluted history of linkage with South East Asia — is made vivid in this remarkable novella.’ —Janette Turner Hospital
‘… this absorbing tale about a resilient child living on the margins contains evocative writing and raw emotional insights. Verdict: poignant’ —Herald Sun
‘With the publication of Harmless, Fremantle Press is continuing to bring the work of enormously talented West Australians to the fore.’ —The Sydney Morning Herald
‘Each revelation builds on the last, constantly changing your perception of the protagonists right to the end. A fast, immensely satisfying read.’ —Scoop Magazine
‘I found this a unique and powerful narrative which had me invested very early on.’
‘Van Loon’s prose is taut and compelling, and shows the author in full command of her powers.’ —ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
‘Who will enjoy this novella? Anyone who relishes subtle and emotionally powerful prose…’ —Devoted Eclectic
‘It is remarkable that so much thematic weight is compacted in so slight a volume.’
—Killings, Kill Your Darlings.