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Foal’s Bread

by Gillian Mears

The sound of horses’ hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn’t totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn’t died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he’s pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.

Beginning between the wars, Foal’s Bread takes you to a forgotten Australia, where backwoods showjumpers risk their necks (and those of their horses) to clear obstacles up to eight feet high, where hardscrabble farmers scratch a meagre living from the earth, and where cruelty and tenderness are equally present in their lives.

This long-awaited novel was been shortlisted for every major literary award in 2012. Heartfelt and devastating, it is a masterpiece from a writer at the height of her powers.

Winner, Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2012

#68 in Australia’s Top 100 Favourite Homegrown Reads

About Gillian Mears

Gillian Mears grew up in the northern New South Wales town of Grafton. Acclaim came early, with her short-story collections and novels winning major prizes. Her books include Ride a Cock Horse (1988), Fineflour (1990), winner of a Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, The Mint Lawn (1991) winner of the Australian/Vogel Literary Award, and The Grass Sister (1995), winner of the regional Commonwealth Prize for Best Book. A Map of the Gardens (2002) won the 2003 Steele Rudd Australian Short Story Award. Foal's Bread (2011) was awarded the 2012 Australian Literary Society (ASL) Gold Medal. The ALS Gold Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding literary work and has been in existence since 1928.


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