In the Shade of the Shady Tree by John Kinsella
Stories of Wheatbelt Australia

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Shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, Steele Rudd Award for Australian Short Fiction.

 In the Shade of the Shady Tree is a collection of stories set in the Western Australian wheatbelt, a vast grain-growing area that ranges across the southwestern end of the immense Australian interior. The stories offer glimpses into the lives of the people who call this area home, as we journey from just north of the town of Geraldton to the far eastern and southern shires of the region.

Cast against a backdrop of indigenous dispossession, settler migration, and the destructive impact of land-clearing and monocultural farming methods, the stories offer moments of connection with the inhabitants, ranging from the matter-of-fact to the bizarre and inexplicable. Something about the nature of the place itself wrestles with all human interactions and affects their outcomes. The land itself is a dominant character, with dust, gnarled scrubland, and the need for rain underpinning human endeavor. Inflected with both contemporary ideas of short fiction and the “everyman” tradition of Australian storytelling, this collection will introduce many readers to a new landscape and unforgettable characters.


About John Kinsella

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John Kinsella's highly regarded books of poetry include Peripheral Light: Selected and New Poems and Jam Tree Gully. He is also the author of numerous plays and collections of short stories and essays. He taught at Kenyon College in Ohio and now is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. He lives at Jam Tree Gully in Western Australia.
Published February 1, 2012 by Swallow Press. 190 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for In the Shade of the Shady Tree

New York Journal of Books

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“John Kinsella is hard on the people of the Wheat Belt, especially the region’s still-dominant old families. Most of his sketches are gloomy in their content and conclusions. But while In the Shade of the Shady Tree exhibits some condescension toward the ruling cliques in the Wheat Belt, this doe...

Feb 15 2012 | Read Full Review of In the Shade of the Shady Tre...

ForeWord Reviews

The ongoing struggle to make a go of it living off a forbidding land with little or no water gets redirected into hatred and blame: blame against the miscreants, blame against one’s neighbors, blame against the Aborigines.

Apr 10 2012 | Read Full Review of In the Shade of the Shady Tre...

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