Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter whose projects include feature film Relic. An early draft of The Nowhere Child won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and rights were quickly sold into fifteen countries. Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, Christian had an eclectic range of ‘day jobs’ before he was able to write full time, including food-cart driver on a golf course and video editor for an adult film company. He now spends his days writing from home in Melbourne, where he lives with his wife, filmmaker Summer DeRoche, and their adopted greyhound, Issy. He has a passion for true crime podcasts, Stephen King and anything to do with Bigfoot. The Nowhere Child is his first book. He’s working on his second.
Christian’s favourite debut novels
1. Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie was the odd one at school; the one whose reflexes were always off in games, whose clothes never really fit, who never got the point of a joke. And so she became the joke, the brunt of teenaged cruelties that puzzled her as much as they wounded her.
There was hardly any comfort in playing her private game, because like so many things in Carrie’s life, it was sinful. Or so her mother said. Carrie could make things move–by concentrating on them, by willing them to move. Small things, like marbles, would start dancing. Or a candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her game, her power, her sin, firmly repressed like everything else about Carrie.
2. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything.
3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.
4. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut’s first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus, who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a super computer and run completely by machines. Paul’s rebellion is vintage Vonnegut-wildly funny, deadly serious, and terrifyingly close to reality.
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder – and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.
Special mentions: The Dry by Jane Harper and Wimmera by Mark Brandi.