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About the book
  • Published: 4 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798222
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256
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Little Sister


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A noir novel, creepy and compelling

At 11.06 pm, on 6 September 2001, eighteen year old Shane stands near the house of his girlfriend's father, staring at the hilt of a sword stabbed into the ground. The next morning, his best friend Will is sitting in a police station, trying to explain the tangled relationship between him, Shane, and Shane's girlfriend Eileen. Ten years later, Eileen is living in a distant city under an assumed name. As she faces the tenth anniversary of the murder that re-defined her life, she is confronted by a young woman who claims to be the little sister that Eileen abandoned, all those years ago . . .

And, on the morning of 7 September 2001, a failed teacher and father wakes up on his couch, unaware of what has transpired the night before and that he alone holds the key to these past and future events.

How much do we know about the people closest to us? How much do we know about ourselves? Clever, creepy and compelling, Little Sister explores ideas of absent fathers, motivation and identity, while building to an unexpected climax.

  • Pub date: 4 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798222
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the Author

Julian Novitz

Award-winning short story writer and novelist Julian Novitz was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and currently lives in Melbourne. His first book, a collection of short stories called My Real Life and Other Stories, won the New Zealand Society of Authors Hubert Church Best First Book of Fiction Award (2005) and he has since published several novels. Novitz has completed a PhD in creative writing and literary studies at the University of Melbourne, and has taught courses in creative writing, literature and communications at the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, and the Swinburne University of Technology. He won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award for Short Fiction in 2008, and was a recipient of the Buddle Findlay Frank Sargeson Residential Writing Fellowship in 2009.

Early in Novitz’s career, Michael Larson identified his ‘sure sense of perspective’ and went on to say that it ‘stakes him out as a writer worthy of serious consideration’. Critics have noted the ‘passion of the ideas behind his writing’ and the eloquence of his stories, with Holocaust Toursdescribed as ‘darkly witty’ in the way it explored ‘questions of identity and history’(Salient). In North & South, Paul Little wrote: ‘The way in which Novtiz raises and defeats expectations . . . is masterful. At a time when contemporary fiction is bedevilled by a cautious gentility, Novitz, by taking a few chances and great care, produces something that, with its gloomy, bleak tone, stands out from most of the pack.’

In reviewing Little Sister, The New Zealand Listener noted that ‘Occasional nods to TS Eliot . . . add their own resonances to the deliciously rich atmosphere of unease.’ The reviewer continued: ‘Although it may take time and care in reading to get the full impact of the final pieces falling into place, it isn’t hard to accustom oneself to taking things slowly when the tension is so expertly and satisfyingly drawn out. That’s the mark of a fine psychological thriller, a standard Little Sister easily meets and surpasses.’
In Christchurch’s Weekend Press, Sean Monaghan hailed Little Sister as ‘a bold and precise book by a novelist on the ascent and it’s sure to garner him more accolades. With taut control and a subtle and precise ear, Novitz knows when to reveal detail and when to be restrained. He reels the reader in with controlled craft. Then he turns everything over, making the novel something that will resonate long after the final page.’

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