Shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award
In the ghost hours of a Monday morning a man feels a dull thud against the side of his car near the entrance to Redfern Station. He doesn’t stop immediately. By the time he returns to the scene, the road is empty, but there is a dent in the car, high up on the passenger door, and what looks like blood. Only a man could have made such a dent, he thinks. For some reason he looks up, though he knows no one is there. Has he hit someone, and if so, where is the victim?
So begins a story that takes us to the heart of contemporary Australia’s festering relationship to its indigenous past. A story about guilt for acts which precede us, crimes we are not sure we have committed, crimes gone on so long they now seem criminal- less.
Part crime novel, part road movie, part love story, No One takes its protagonist to the very heart of a nation where non-existence is the true existence, where crimes cannot be resolved and guilt cannot be redeemed, and no one knows what to do with ghosts that are real.
Praise for No One
John Hughes’s vivid, dark, intensely beautiful new novella No One is an unprecedented excursion into the nightmares of our colonial unconscious.
- Geordie Williamson in The Australian, July 2019
In No One, the echoes and traces that drive the narrator’s quest to find out who or what he collided with on the fateful evening have as much to do with the legacy of Australia’s colonial history and treatment of the original owners of the land as they do with the events that define his own traumatic history.
- George Kouvaros for Sydney Review of Books, August 2019
Like all good fiction, this novella tells more than one story.
No One is about the fractured identity of Australian society, delivered with an allegorist’s sensibility.
- Jack Cameron Stanton in The Sydney Morning Herald, June 2019