"Thea Astley's stories capture the lushness and cruelty of the Queensland landscape with its rich wet smells and weird cast of characters. She exposes pretension and exploitation with an acid wit and comic flair, and has won worldwide acclaim for her writing. This selection of stories spans more than thirty years and includes many not previously collected, along with well-known pieces from Hunting the Wild Pineapple and It's Raining in Mango, which won the inaugural Steele Rudd Award for the best short story collection."
"Luxuriant, prolific of implications, shifting abruptly from benign or whimsical to malignant, a prose to match the gorgeously treacherous background against which the tales are set." - Carolyn Bliss, World Literature Today
"The verdant landscape of Queensland and Astley's own quirky vision link and inform the diverse stories in Hunting the Wild Pineapple...Flannery O'Connor would have liked them, with their skewed language, oddball characters and deadly humour." - Hilma Wolitzer, The New York Times Book Review
"Astley has always been one of those writers who could make you shiver at humanity's malevolence and cruelty. In It's Raining in Mango, she is also continuing to develop the more difficult skill of making natural human goodness seem credible and exciting." - Jennifer Maiden, Age Monthly Review
"The writing is intensely vivid ... It's the level of invention, of sheer story-telling, that's thrilling ... There's a savage wit here; an amused, acerbic cynicism, but also an engaged humanity." - Richard Glover, Sydney Morning Herald
PART 1: Stories 1959-76
"The Scenery Never Changes"
"Journey to Olympus"
"Coming of Age"
"One of the Islands"
"El Rio Es Mi Solo Amigo"
PART 2: From Hunting the Wild Pineapple
"The Curate Breaker"
"Hunting the Wild Pineapple"
"A Northern Belle"
"Ladies Only Need Apply"
"A Man Who Is Tired of Swiper's Creek Is Tired of Life"
PART 3: From It's Raining in Mango
"How to Get Sacked"
"It's Raining in Mango"
"Old Man in a Dry Mouth"
PART 4: Stories 1981-89
"The Salad of the Bad Cafe"
"Travelling Even Farther North - David Williamson You Must Have Stopped at the Border"
"Not Quite the Same"
"Dr Forkhammer Has a Girl in His Room"
"A Diesel Epiphany"
"Why I Wrote a Short Story Called 'Diesel Epiphany'"
From the UQP paperback edition, 1997.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2002-4 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Thea Astley Page.
Last modified: November 16, 2004.