September 04 , 2007

Tree Palace


Shortlisted, Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2015, Australia.

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Tree Palace is a affectionate portrait of a family living on the edge of society.

Shane, Moira and Midge, along with young Zara and Rory, are trants - itinerants roaming the plains north-west of Melbourne in search of disused houses to sleep in, or to strip of heritage fittings when funds are low. When they find their Tree Palace outside Barleyville, things are looking up. At last, a place in which to settle down.

But Zara, fifteen, is pregnant and doesn't want a child. She'd rather a normal life with town boys, not trant life with a baby. Moira decides to step in: she'll look after her grandchild. Then Shane finds himself in trouble with the local cops.

Warmly told and witty, Craig Sherborne's second novel is a revelation, an affecting story of family and rural life.

Craig Sherborne's memoir Hoi Polloi (2005) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's and Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. The follow-up, Muck (2007), won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Non-fiction. Craig's first novel, The Amateur Science of Love, won the Melbourne Prize for Literature's Best Writing Award, and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and a NSW Premier's Literary Award. Craig has also written two volumes of poetry, Bullion (1995) and Necessary Evil (2005), and a verse drama, Look at Everything Twice for Me (1999). His writing has appeared in most of Australia's literary journals and anthologies. He lives in Melbourne.

'Told with warmth and humour, this contemporary, distinctly Australian story explores teen pregnancy; motherhood and parenthood; love and family; the roles and feelings of men and boys; and the power plays inherent in all human relationships. Tree Palace serves up a full slice of life - the bitter with the sweet.' 4 stars Bookseller and Publisher

'With the crystallisation and compression of poetry, Sherborne explores ideas of property, freedom and loyalty, and produces a novel as beautiful in its conjunctions as the chandelier swinging over its landscapes.' Australian

'[Tree Palace is] moving, terrifying and wonderfully well observed and, as with all the strange books Sherborne writes, a triumph...The main character [is] one of the great portraits of up-against-it Australian womanhood in our literature, a figure to put with Lawson's Drover's Wife and Barbara Baynton's women.' Peter Craven, Sydney Morning Herald

'Sherborne's descriptions of landscape are poetic and powerful, reinforcing a sense of identity that is deeply connected to a sense of place.' Readings

'Sherborne had me at chapter one. Yes this comes down to the writing, which is, quite simply, sublime, but it goes further than that. There's such feeling; such heart that it's impossible not to fall for Moira, Shane and co. Tree Palace is a reminder that even inside the smallest of stories there's room enough for the stirring of universal themes...This is timeless, universal storytelling that is nonetheless quintessentially Australian.' Eureka Street

'[Tree Palace has] insight, empathy and supple, observant prose.' Advertiser

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