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In the New Country

By David Foster

The new novel by the author of award-winning The Glade Within the Grove. In The New Country is a comic novel about small-town Australia. How can three very different cultures – the Irish, Aborigines and Australian bushmen – find a common identity in the New Country?

A man in a gorilla suit wins the Sydney City to Surf race and detective Harley Christian tracks the runner to the small community of Knocklofty in order to bring him back to Sydney for the 2000 Olympics. The two-pub town, Knocklofty, a small Irish community found between Ballymeaner and Crooked Corner on the open Western Slopes of the Australian Great divide, is preparing for the St Patrick’s school reunion. Ad Hock is organising it all, dreaming of escaping to America, Blue MacEwe is preparing the barbeque, until he discovers that he is 1/32 Kamilaroi and Mick Hock is making the commemorative plates and goblets until he dies of shame having been banned from Minogue’s Bar. All the old boys are coming back, the ones that escaped to the nearby cities, as well as the ones that never left, and Dud Leahey, ‘The Wonder from Down Under’, the grammy award-winning country singer who now lives in America. The reunion will bring the community back together again, or will it perhaps bring it face to face with its dark secrets: the strange relationship between the New Country and the Old; the community’s paranoid fear of fire and the barren landscape that surrounds the village; the death of O’Mara in The Hole and the identity of the runner in the gorilla suit. David Foster’s new novel is a tour-de-force that establishes him as a great comic writer of international standing. Brutal, moving, and very funny In the New Country is an extraordinary novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.