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  • Published: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571759
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

Of a Boy

  • Sonya Hartnett



The year is 1977, and Adrian is nine. He lives with his gran and his uncle Rory; his best friend is Clinton Tull. He loves to draw and he wants a dog; he's afraid of quicksand and self-combustion.

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize

The year is 1977, and Adrian is nine. He lives with his gran and his uncle Rory; his best friend is Clinton Tull. He loves to draw and he wants a dog; he's afraid of quicksand and self-combustion. Adrian watches his suburban world, but there is much he cannot understand. He does not for instance, know why three neighbourhood children might set out to buy ice-cream and never come back home . . .

'Far away the best new Australian piece of fiction I have read, rivalling the achievements of Thursday's child.' Peter Craven, The Age

'The writing is spare, the images crystalline . . .remarkable.' The Guardian (UK)

'Hartnett's work is a gem, the climax as taut as a triller and . . . heart wrenching.' Weekend Australian

'Effortlessly moving form matter-of-fact to mystical, at times exquisitely painful to read, Of a Boy is an almost suffocatingly powerful evocation of the emotional life of the very young . . . [for] anyone who recalls being a child. And everyone who doesn't.' Sydney Morning Herald

'Sonya Hartnett's Hauntingly beautiful part-family drama, part-mystery, captures the vulnerability of childhood and has a high-voltage ending you'll find hard to forget.' Australian Women's Weekly

  • Published: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571759
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

Awards & recognition

Commonwealth Writers Prize (UK)

Winner  •  2003  •  Best Book

The Age Book of the Year

Winner  •  2003  •  Fiction

NSW Premier's Literary Awards

Shortlisted  •  2003  •  Fiction

Orange Prize for Fiction (UK)

Longlisted  •  2003  •  Fiction

The Miles Franklin Literary Award

Shortlisted  •  2003  •  Fiction

Victorian Premier's Literary Award

Shortlisted  •  2003  •  Fiction

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Longlisted  •  2004  •  Fiction

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