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The Crying Room movingly explores family boundaries and stories, finding original ways to express the contradictory experience of belonging to a family, and being an individual at the same time.

When Bernie Rodgers and her husband move to the coastal town of Ballina, she finds that there is more than a physical distance separating her from her adult daughters. Bernie loves her daughters, but the problem she realises is with the way she loved them.

Bernie’s daughter Susie is professionally successful, but her feelings remain distant, even to herself. When she takes on the responsibility for caring for her niece, the pieces of her life finally snap into place. The inexplicable disappearance of an aeroplane though, plunges her life into mystery once again.

Morally acute and dazzlingly accomplished, this is an affecting novel about loneliness, love, family and the need to feel.

Deeply rewarding. Shirm dances with a light step across the delicate territory between laughing and weeping.’ Helen Garner.

‘Deft, original and clever; this novel unfolds a drama of family distance, kindness and the surprising endurance of love.’ Gail Jones.

About The Author

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Gretchen Shirm is the author of a collection of short stories Having Cried Wolf, for which she named a 2011 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. Her novel Where the Light Falls, was shortlisted for the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. 

Her short stories have been widely anthologised, including in Best Australian Stories, Kill Your Darlings, the Griffith Review, Meanjin, Overland, and Southerly. Her criticism is regularly published in the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Age.

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