The Garret: Josh Kemp Interview

Banjawarn Interview Josh kemp The Garret

Astrid Edwards, host of The Garret and self-confessed bibliophile, interviews Josh Kemp about his debut novel, Banjawarn. Listen to Josh Kemp's interview Josh Kemp and Australian Gothic on The Garret podcast.

Josh Kemp discusses his debut novel, Banjawarn, winning the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award, the origin of his characters, Cormac McCarthy, and a doomsday cult. Josh Kemp is a writer of Australian gothic fiction. Banjawarn, joint winner of the 2021 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, is his stunning debut novel. His short stories have been published by Kill Your Darlings, Overland, Seizure, Tincture and Breach. He's previously been shortlisted for the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award and longlisted for the Fogarty Literary Award.

Listen to Josh Kemp's interview on The Garret.

Josh Kemp's novel, Banjawarn, is available to purchase.

Cover of BanjawarnGarreth Hoyle is a true crime writer whose destructive love affair with hallucinogenic drugs has sent him searching for ghosts in the unforgiving mallee desert of Western Australia. Heading north through Kalgoorlie, he attempts to score off old friends from his shearing days on Banjawarn Station. His journey takes an unexpected detour when he discovers an abandoned ten-year-old girl and decides to return her to her estranged father in Leonora, instead of alerting authorities. Together they begin the road trip from hell through the scorched heart of the state’s northern goldfields.

Love, friendship and hope are often found in the strangest places, but forgiveness is never simple, and the past lies buried just beneath the blood red topsoil. The only question is whether Hoyle should uncover it, or run as fast as his legs can take him.

Banjawarn is an unsettling debut from Josh Kemp. Echoing Cormac McCarthy’s haunting border trilogy and narrative vernacular that recalls the sparse lyricism of Randolph Stow and Tim Winton, this is a darkly funny novel that earns its place amongst the stable of Australian gothic literature.


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