Nominated by:

The State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Vintage Australia

Five Bells

Gail Jones    

2013 Longlist

On a radiant day in Sydney, four people converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Each of the four is haunted by memories of the past: Ellie is preoccupied by her experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China’s Cultural Revolution. Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes vividly four lives which chime and resonate. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Gail Jones lives in Sydney and teaches at the University of Western Sydney. Her books have won numerous literary awards in Australia. She is the author of two collections of short stories and five novels including Sixty Lights which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Dreams of Speaking which was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and longlisted for the Orange Prize, and Sorry which was longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Librarian’s Comments

Set in the heart of contemporary Sydney, Gail Jones uses the harbour both to link her characters and as a canvas for their development in her book, Five Bells. Their stories unfold through one spectacular day as they crisscross Circular Quay, and five lives are touched by love and loss as darkness falls.

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