Sincerely, Ethel Malley

Pageturners Evening book discussion group will be talking about the latest book by Australian author Stephen Orr called Sincerely, Ethel Malley at the August meeting.

About the book:

In the darkest days of World War II, Ethel Malley lives a quiet life on Dalmar Street, Croydon. One day she finds a collection of poems written by her late (and secretive) brother, Ern. She sends them to Max Harris, co-editor of modernist magazine Angry Penguins. He reads them and declares Ern an undiscovered genius. Determined to help publish the poems, Ethel moves in with Max and soon becomes a presence he can’t understand, or control. He gets the feeling something’s not quite right. About Ethel. About Ern. Then two poets come forward claiming they wrote Ern’s poems.

What follows is part-truth, part-hoax, a dark mystery as surreal as any of Ern’s poems. Max wants to believe in Ern, but to do this he has to believe in Ethel, and attempt to understand her increasingly unpredictable behaviour. Then he’s charged with publishing Ern’s ‘pornographic’ poems. The questions of truth and lies, freedom of speech, and tradition versus modernism play out in a stifling Adelaide courtroom, around the nation’s wirelesses, and in Max’s head.

Based on Australia’s greatest literary hoax, Sincerely, Ethel Malley explores the nature of creativity, and human frailty. It drips with the anaemic blood of Australian literature, the gristle of a culture we’ve never really trusted.

About the author Stephen Orr:

Stephen Orr has published eight novels, a volume of short stories (Datsunland) and two books of non- fiction (The Cruel City and The Fierce Country). He has won or been nominated for awards such as the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Miles Franklin Award and the International Dublin Literary Award. Stephen Orr lives in Adelaide. He was one of two recipients of the 2020 CAL Author Fellowships.

Reminder to RSVP

The Evening group will be talking about Sincerely, Ethel Malley by Stephen Orr on Wednesday 11 August from 5.30pm to 7pm. Please book your place or call Jasmine at Orange City Library on 6393 8125 to RSVP. Please note the meeting is limited 10 guests and the NSW Public Health Orders apply, so please wear a mask, use the hand sanitiser provided. socially distance 1.5 metres and stay home if you are feeling unwell. Your support is greatly appreciated by all the Library team.

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