Publication Date: 09/02/2023 ISBN: 9781911344209 Category:


Jay Carmichael

Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 09/02/2023 ISBN: 9781911344209 Category:
Paperback / Softback




A stunning Australian love story for readers of Brokeback Mountain.

It’s the 1950s in conservative Australia, and Christopher, a young gay man, moves to ‘the City’ to escape the repressive atmosphere of his tiny hometown. Once there, however, he finds that it is just as censorial and punitive in its own way.

Then Christopher meets Morgan, and the two fall in love – a love that breathes truth back into Christopher’s stifled life. But the society around them remains rigid and unchanging, and what begins as a refuge for both men inevitably buckles under the intensity of navigating a world that wants them to refuse what they are. Will their devotion be enough to keep them together?

Marlo takes us into the landscape of a relationship defined as much by what is said and shared as by what has to remain unsaid.

Publisher Review

'Carmichael's second novel is a noble exercise in mapping lived but seemingly lost Australian queer histories. With its unfettered prose, Marlo is a quiet and earnest story of gay male desire and longing.' -- Nathan Smith * Books+Publishing * 'Falling in love can be terrifying and all the harder when the laws of the land are against you. Marlo is a deeply affecting novel; tender and brutal by turn.' -- Sophie Cunningham, author of Melbourne 'What's most striking about Marlo is its quiet dignity, the lightness of touch with which Carmichael tells this story, which is about recognition and discovery as much as it is about love. Christopher's unfolding realisation - that in order to come of age he must also cast himself out - is never cause for him to abandon his optimism and his willingness to hope for and work for a life and a love, however unsanctioned, of his own making. Carmichael's reclaiming of a sidelined history is defiantly hopeful too, resisting tragedy and seeking out forgotten joys instead.' -- Fiona Wright, author of Small Acts of Disappearance 'This novel, written with controlled retrospective fury and pain, is interleaved with archival black and white photographs of Melbourne, of known beats at the time and of particular parties. The photographs - grim, poignant, essentially dull - resonate. As does the novel. This was us? Indeed, it was.' -- Helen Elliott * The Monthly * 'Queer lives were dangerous, so hidden and coded. They are hard to retrieve. Jay Carmichael himself notes that his project is "a task of inference" ... [Marlo's] style is spare, with use of actual photographs to create a mood both bleak and secretly joyous. It depicts past Melbourne as alien as a distant planet.' -- Lucy Sussex * The Sydney Morning Herald * 'My only complaint is that Marlo left me wanting more.' -- Sarah L'Estrange * ABC News * 'Carmichael traces a hopeful story of two men trying to carve out some small corner of domestic peace that allows for joy. Even in its brevity, Marlo offers a glorious peek into historical gaps that were far from uninhabited.' -- Stephen A. Russell * The Saturday Paper * '[A] powerful, moving novella ... Marlo reminds readers that the battle for equality is a continuum with a history.' * ANZ LitLovers * 'Marlo affords a great opportunity to learn about past gay lives.' -- Kieran Pender *

"Marlo affords a great opportunity to learn about past gay lives."

Ivan Crozier, The Newtown Review of Books * Praise for Ironbark: 'Jay Carmichael's Ironbark does the extraordinary. It achieves what we readers want from the best of fiction: to tell a story anew, and to capture a world in all its wonder, ugliness, tenderness, and cruelty. This is a novel of coming of age and of grief that astonishes us by its wisdom and by its compassion. It's a work of great and simple beauty, so good it made me jealous. And grateful.' -- Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap Praise for Ironbark: 'Jay Carmichael approaches the world as a poet, from an angle that is all his own. He reveals a hidden, pulsing reality beneath the surface of the everyday.' -- Miles Allinson, author of Fever of Animals and In Moonland Praise for Ironbark: 'In sparse and quiet prose, Jay Carmichael's debut is an enveloping novel about grief, survival, and the futility of finding peace in a place you don't belong.' -- Shaun Prescott, author of The Town

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