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Toni Jordan - book author

Toni was born in Brisbane in 1966. She loved reading and writing at primary school (Seven Hills State School) but by high school (Lourdes Hill College) had become a science nerd. After leaving school, she enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland, which she completed part time after almost failing due to a preoccupation with chasing boys.

She has worked as a research assistant, molecular biologist, quality control chemist, door-to-door aluminium siding saleswoman, marketing manager, shop assistant and copywriter. In 1996 she moved to Melbourne, and in 2004 quit her job to study professional writing full time at RMIT University. While studying, she began writing her debut novel, Addition.

Addition has been published in Australia, the UK and Holland (as Alles Telt), with publication in Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Israel, Brazil and North America coming soon.

Toni’s articles have appeared in The Sunday Age, The Sun-Herald and The Monthly, and she also teaches creative writing.

Toni lives in Melbourne with her husband Rob.

Toni Jordan is the author of books: Addition, Nine Days, The Fragments, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, Fall Girl, A Simple To Read Comprehensive Guide To Arthritis: To Help Patients, Doctors, Parents, Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists And Doctors Alike, 10 Short Stories You Must Read This Year, #SaveOzStories, A Stairway to Paradise: Text Classics, Kill Your Darlings, April 2012

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Author Books

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02
One family. Nine momentous days. An unforgettable novel of love and folly and heartbreak.

It is 1939 and Australia is about to go to war. Deep in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Richmond it is business—your own and everyone else's—as usual. And young Kip Westaway, failed scholar and stablehand, is living the most important day of his life.

Ambitious in scope and structure, triumphantly realised, this is a novel about one family and every family. It is about dreams and fights and sacrifices. And finally, of course, it is—as it must be—about love.

Toni Jordan has a BSc in physiology and qualifications in marketing and professional writing. Her debut novel, Addition, has been published in sixteen countries and won numerous awards. Jordan lives in Melbourne, Australia.
03
INGA Karlson died in a fire in New York in the 1930s, leaving behind three things: a phenomenally successful first novel, the scorched fragments of a second book— and a mystery that has captivated generations of readers.

Nearly fifty years later, Brisbane bookseller Caddie Walker is waiting in line to see a Karlson exhibition featuring the famous fragments when she meets a charismatic older woman.

The woman quotes a phrase from the Karlson fragments that Caddie knows does not exist—and yet to Caddie, who knows Inga Karlson’s work like she knows her name, it feels genuine.

Caddie is electrified. Jolted her from her sleepy, no-worries life in torpid 1980s Brisbane, she is driven to investigate: to find the clues that will unlock the greatest literary mystery of the twentieth century
04
Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and headed off to Noosa with Mercedes’ grade three teacher, Martha.

Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.

Craig and Lesley have dropped over briefly from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline’s all-night row.

And Janice, Caroline’s sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the girls because Janice is the sensible one. A microbiologist with a job she loves, a fervent belief in the beauty of the scientific method and a determination to make a solo life after her divorce from Alec.

Then Craig returns through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice in her bed, Lesley storms in with a jealous heart and a mouthful of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis—and let’s not even get started on Brayden the pizza guy.

Janice can cope with all that. But when Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated.

Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.
05
'The secret to having people give you money is to act as though you don't want it.'

Meet Ella Canfield, highly qualified evolutionary biologist. Attractive, if a little serious-looking in those heavy glasses—but then she's about to put her career on the line. Dr Canfield is seeking funding for a highly unorthodox research project. She wants to prove that an extinct animal still roams in one of Australia's most popular national parks.

Meet Daniel Metcalf, good-looking, expensively dishevelled millionaire. Quite witty but far too rich to be taken seriously. He heads the Metcalf Trust, which donates money to offbeat scientific research projects. He has a personal interest in animals that don't exist.

Problem number one: There is no such person as Dr Ella Canfield.

Problem number two: Della Gilmore, professional con artist, has never met anyone like Daniel Metcalf before.

Someone is going to take a fall.

A sparkling, sexy read from the author of Addition, Fall Girl is a story about passion and loyalty, deceit and integrity, and the importance of believing in things that don't exist.
07
Kylie has a close encounter with a selfhelp guru in a stadium full of people . . . Austin North is strangely smitten by a new student from Sudan . . . Elizabeth’s Christmas letters take on a life of their own . . . Tom is on the bus with Tara Finke – Parramatta Road never looked so good . . . Funny, poignant, perceptive, these vivid tales by some of our bestknown writers capture contemporary Australia in all its variety.
08
#SaveOzStories is a gift to book lovers from Australia’s finest writers and the industry that supports them. Jackie French, David Malouf, Tim Winton and many more of our best writers have come together to issue a clarion call to all Australian citizens to defend writers and writing. If politicians have their way we will be the only nation to give away our right to tell our own stories. If you think a world without the next Richard Flanagan, Andy Griffiths or Monica McInerney will be a poorer one, then read this collection of impassioned arguments from our most esteemed wordsmiths.
09

Alex and Andrew are friends. And Barbara...Barbara is a goddess. Here is the eternal triangle, the story of three people in an unhappy tangle of emotions, none able to articulate the precise quality of their longing and dissatisfaction.

Are any of them truly interested in reaching the ‘paradise’ they claim to be seeking, or are they actually trying to avoid it?

In St. John’s hands, what is commonplace is transformed and transcendent. This is the work of an extraordinary writer.

MADELEINE ST JOHN was born in Sydney in 1941. Her father, Edward, was a barrister and Liberal politician. Her mother, Sylvette, committed suicide in 1954, when Madeleine was twelve. Her death, she later said, ‘obviously changed everything’.
St John studied Arts at Sydney University, where her contemporaries included Bruce Beresford, Germaine Greer, Clive James and Robert Hughes. In 1965 she married Chris Tillam, a fellow student, and they moved to the United States where they first attended Stanford and later Cambridge.
From Cambridge, St John relocated to London in 1968 with the hope that Chris would follow. The couple did not reunite and the marriage ended. St John settled in Notting Hill. She worked at a series of odd jobs, and then, in 1993, published her first novel, The Women in Black, the only book she set in Australia. When her third novel, The Essence of the Thing (1997), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, she became the first Australian woman to receive this honour.
St John died in 2006. She had been so incensed after seeing errors in a French edition of one of her novels that she stipulated in her will that there were to be no more translations of her work.

‘Not much in the way of folly escapes Madeleine St John, and the oubliette she opens into the darker reaches of the spirit is unsettling.’ The Times

‘St John proves herself a comic, humane observer.’ Newsday

‘Madeleine St John is brilliant on the elliptical way lovers talk to each other.’ Daily Telegraph

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EDITORIAL
Rebecca Starford

COMMENTARY
Greg Foyster 'The Big Pitch: Selling Advertising to the Public'
Wayne Macauley 'Gerald Murnane’s The Plains: An Alternative Australian Literature'
Annabelle Craft 'The Big Pineapple: The Revival of an Australian Icon'
Luke Meinzen 'Three Years in Mongolia: Trying to be a Travel Writer'
Ruth Starke 'The Renaissance Man: Don Dunstan and The Sexy Seventies'
Vanessa Murray and Jamie Melbourne-Hayward 'Blood in the Sand: Northern Spain Farewells Bullfighting'
Anne-Marie Reeves 'The Man Who Rocked the World: Reflecting on David Bowie'
Nola Firth 'Zen Camp: A Place Where Time is Slowed'

FICTION
Toni Jordan 'Dog Trap'
Carmel Bird 'Monkey Business'
Krissy Kneen 'Road Kill'

INTERVIEW
Kill Your Darlings in conversation with Kelly Link

REVIEWS
Scott Macleod 'Solving the Unsolvable: Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy'
Cristian Strömblad 'Nevermind: How I Found Freedom in Nirvana'