Critically acclaimed author James Roy's young adult novel Town has received a string of prestigious awards since its release in 2007, including the NSW Premier's Award for Young People's Literature (winner); Golden Inky Teenage Choice Award (winner); CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers (notable book); Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction (shortlisted), and the German Youth Literature Prize (shortlisted). Thanks to public demand, Roy has written its companion City, a skilfully crafted and thought-provoking collection of linked stories – his most striking to date.
Roy's first collection, Town, poignantly explored the lives of thirteen young residents of an Australian town and the social tapestry of their community over the course of a year. Like the young people in Town, those in City also make connections with – and assumptions about – each other. They too desire meaningful relationships with their community, their friends, their family and the strangers they pass each day, but this time they are linked in very different ways – through chance meetings, found objects, social connections, the civil disobedience of the shadowy Poet, and the streets of a city.
And while the young people of City experience lives in contrast from those in Town, they desire no less than the characters in Town: meaningful relationships with their community, their friends, their family and the strangers they pass each day.
Palpable throughout City is Roy's signature humour and pathos, as well as his heightened appreciation of the important issues affecting young people today – allowing him to entertain and engage readers through powerful social commentary about contemporary Australian life.
…she did something that took me by complete surprise. It shouldn't have surprised me – after all, we were sitting less than five metres apart, face to face, on a train. Yet it did surprise me, when she turned her head, quite purposefully, almost like one of those clown heads you see at theme parks, and stared straight at me. I saw it coming – the slow turn of her face towards mine – and yet I didn't respond. I simply found myself staring straight at her, and she at me.
Roy says that he's long been fascinated with the assumptions we consistently make about people and the misconceptions about others that result. -For the most part, we never know people as well as we think we do. I was keen to explore that idea within the context of a large city – where we are even less likely than in a small town to know our neighbours and those who spend their days in closest physical proximity to us,' he said.
This stunning collection of connected stories will feel immediately familiar in the way it reflects our lives and those of the people we pass each day. It is destined to sit alongside Town as another Australian classic.
James Royhas written over twenty books for young people, many of which have received prestigious awards for literature, including the Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier's Awards (2008).
James was born in western New South Wales in 1968, and spent much of his childhood in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, adventuring by day and reading books by night. His first novel, Almost Wednesday, was released in 1996 and was followed by the CBCA Notable Book Full Moon Racing. Other critical successes came with the CBCA Honour Books Captain Mack and Billy Mack's War, and the Notable Books The Legend of Big Red and A Boat for Bridget.
In addition, James also drew on his years as a nurse to adolescents to write his non-fiction book The -S' Word - a boys' guide to sex, puberty and growing up.
James lives in the Blue Mountains with his wife and daughters. In his spare time he demonstrates an entirely misplaced confidence in his skills as a guitarist, painter and sportsman.
Author: James Roy