He’s barely in his forties. He’s married with two nearly teenage daughters. He lives in Brisbane. He’s a staff journalist on the Weekend Australian Magazine. All fairly straight forward except that Trent Dalton also wrote the fastest-selling fiction debut in Australian history.
This very first book, a novel, Boy Swallows Universe, was published in 2018. Even with that unpromising title, in the first 18 months, it sold more than 375,000 copies. It was the first book to win four prizes at the Australian Book Industry Awards and is being published globally across 34 English language and translation territories. Published in the US last year, Boy Swallows Universe attracted glowing reviews: The New York Times describing it as ‘this thrilling novel’ with the Washington Post saying ‘(it) hypnotises you with wonder, and then hammers you with heartbreak’.
Trent Dalton’s next, just second, work of fiction will be published in June. Titled All Our Shimmering Skies, it is described as ‘an exhilarating tale of love, friendship and gifts that fall from the sky’.
Set at a turning point in Australian history, in Darwin, 1942, it is ‘an odyssey of true love and grave danger’. It is wonderful that Australia has another star novelist and his new work will be eagerly awaited. It would be unreasonable to expect him to hit the jackpot every time but his ability to write truly seductive prose will ensure that he will give considerable pleasure to his readers.
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