Looking for something different to do this Friday night? Why not attend a local author’s book launch.
We spoke to Brisbane author Patrick Holland about his latest novel One, ‘a work of the imagination based on real events’… real events that occurred in Western Queensland where the author spent his formative years.
Patrick explains, “The Kenniffs were the last bushrangers in Australian history, and their escapades took place in the country I grew up in. That’s a landscape I love for its emptiness and reticent beauty. I love empty plains – the way they speak of infinity. The way they soften at dusk, and get more expansive when the stars come out.”
His respect and admiration for the people that inhabit that environment really shine through in this novel.
“The people out there are fascinating. They’re typically tough as hell and very reticent, and I’ve always been interested in the challenge of expressing the potentially rich inner lives of people who don’t have the vocabulary or inclination to express those. Then, I wanted to meditate upon law, justice and exile, and I thought Jim Kenniff was the right vehicle to use for that.”
The idea of One first seeded around six years ago and he has been sketching it since, around his day job teaching English and writing, and other successful book releases with Transit Lounge Publishing. These include three fictional titles, The Mary Smokes Boys (longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year), The Darkest Little Room and Navigatio (shortlisted for the 2015 People’s Choice, Queensland Book of the Year Award) and my personal favourite, his collection of travel essays Riding The Trains in Japan.
Although One is based on real events, Patrick notes he takes a lot of license in the novel.
“A writer can certainly do too much research. To the point where you feel obligated to the facts you’ve uncovered, and you loose your purpose and poetry… This portrait of Jim Kenniff is only one of many that could be written. That said, the facts of a life can lead you in directions your imagination alone wouldn’t have, and you can jump off those.”
One is an engrossing read. In lucid prose Holland highlights the fragile balance between the individual and society, and the echoes of not-so-distant history in our own backyards.
What does Patrick hope readers will take from One?
“Of course, I hope all readers might find it useful, fortifying, beautiful … My purpose is always to make something beautiful – how well I succeed in that others can judge – but I would hope anyone interested in art made for the sake of beauty would find something worthy in this book.”
And why should Brisbane readers interested in this novel attend the launch event at Avid Reader Bookshop, West End on Friday 8th April? In Patrick’s own words:
“Ah, that’s easy. There’ll be free snacks and wine. And you can buy me a beer afterwards – which I’ll very happily accept. In return, I’ll read for you, and sign you a copy of the novel!”
For more details about the One launch event and to register to attend, visit the Avid Reader Bookshop website.
Read our full review of One by Patrick Holland (Transit Lounge).
Support your local talent, join our Aussie Author Reading Challenge.