- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
An Unknown Sky: and other stories
Susan Midalia’s second collection of short stories offers us a compelling variety of characters, all of them ‘travellers’ in search of connection and belonging.
Tourists in Moscow and Vienna confronted by the weight of history. A young student teacher discovering her capacity for compassion. A teenage boy defending his mother’s reputation. A brother anguished by his sister’s illness. An ageing widow infatuated with a troubled young man. Conflicts between the silent burdens of the past and the drama of everyday lives.
Written with eloquence, grace and emotional generosity, these stories seek understanding rather than judgement, inviting us to reflect on the unspoken longings and regrets that make up who we are.
Shortlisted – 2013 Queensland Literary Award (Steele Rudd Award for an Australian Short Story Collection)
Longlisted – 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
Praise for An Unknown Sky:
Midalia is a champion of the short-story format and her skill at presenting big ideas through the everyday experience demonstrates how powerful good writing can be. The tenderness and empathy of these stories will resonate long after the last word has been read…a story a day from this collection is prescribed – it is pure enjoyment.THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
[These stories] are beautifully written, and never overwritten; Midalia is a master of inference drawn from detail. She does not judge but carefully lifts the corner of a curtain to show a teasing perspective…all readers will find quirky compassion and unfailing engagement.AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
Every character is finely drawn, motives and ideals unveiled with subtlety. Masterful word choices keep the prose tight yet poetic throughout the collection. Midalia’s flashes of wit are delightful, particularly in her ability to sketch absurdity from the mundane. An Unknown Sky is an accessible collection, just perfect for short bursts, which is how many of us like our fiction served these days.ANZ LITLOVERS BLOG