THE HAT ON THE LETTER O book cover   The Hat on the Letter O
Revised edition with four new stories

Cover drawing by Peter Walker

Dustjacket synopsis:
"An old tram line used as a secret pathway, a school which existed for less than a year, a blindfold horse, an omnipotent law clerk, celluloid bushrangers, the widow and the step/donk man, an aboriginal defendant, and more - in this collection of stories, Nicholas Hasluck creates a wide range of unusual characters and situations with his customary blend of wit and insight.

"The Hat on the Letter 0, Nicholas Hasluck's acclaimed volume of short stories, is re-issued with four outstanding new works. This collection provides an exciting insight into the range and the craftsmanship of one of Australia's foremost contemporary writers.

"Childhood. Love. Violence. Betrayal. Brotherly involvement. The author touches on a variety of concerns, but whether the subject be a tram line or a trial 'up north' the stories combine to reveal intriguing links between fact and fiction, and different aspects of the storyteller's art."

"One of the best writers to have emerged in Australia in recent years" - The Sydney Morning Herald
"Nicholas Hasluck's prose is subtle and sensitive, lucid enough to bring situations into sharpness, reflective enough to create the sense that there is another dimension to human acts..." - Overland
"Nicholas Hasluck is, whatever fashion may dictate, Australia's bright new star of fiction." - The Financial Times

The Old Days
My Brother's School
Pete the Rat's Stew
The Blindfold Horse
My Brother's Movie
The Hat on the Letter O
The Whole Truth

First Paragraph of the Title Story

The postcard? What's it doing up there? You want to know? Listen. Do me one favour. Don't get me started on the postcard. Not at this hour of night. Not unless you can stay for another drink. The postcard! What a question. What an absolutely hysterical question. See that? Exactly. The crystalline tear and the weary smile. A postcard-from-abroad type smile.

But since we're on the subject, tell me one thing. Have you ever heard of a man fastening a seat-belt on a woman without touching her once? You know - leans across, finds the clip deep down beside the seat on the far side, then the buckle part, and snaps them together, and tightens up until you can hardly breathe? And all the time never touches you once? Not even with a fraction of a finger-tip? I mean, how depressing can it get? I use toothpaste and talc and everything. And here's this male crawling all over the place on tippy-toe fingers. And I'm sitting there like the plague.

From the Fremantle Arts Centre Press paperback edition, 1990.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

[Prev] Return to Nicholas Hasluck Page.

Last modified: November 26, 2001.