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SHORTLISTED - 2019 WA Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer Award
Leonora – back to Jeanie's roots and family. Matthew's father, Archie, is dying and he spends three weeks out of four caring for him in The Wounded Sinner, his grand, decaying family home. Whilst Matthew is away, Jeanie stays and works as a teacher and looks after their five children. Their eldest, Jaylene, is hitting adolescence and is challenging Jeanie's self-image and burgeoning sense of identity. On a hot desolate day in the West Australian hinterland, Matthew's car finally breaks down. Vince, whose own family is falling apart in unanticipated ways, stops to pick him up and, in among the chaos of their lives, an unlikely friendship is formed.
In this unforgettable debut, The Wounded Sinner shines a light on growing old, fidelity and identity which run through this unique and gritty novel, in which all are asking the ultimate questions about life, death and the purpose of it all.
"This debut is an oddly powerful and engaging story of two families connected by chance." - Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald
"In his debut novel, Gus Henderson uses landscape and loss to determine the negotiations his characters make in the chaos of their lives. Tackling misogyny, racism and identity through the 'thorny clutter of a wasted life' this novel is an important addition to West Australian literature." - Writing WA
"Gus Henderson’s writing is beautifully descriptive, painting a vivid picture of the Western Australian landscape and lifestyle that immerses the reader in the world of the characters. There are absolute gems of prose... The way in which Henderson writes about family, race, aging, and sexuality is both realistic and compelling to read." Shelley Carter, Underground Writers