The Strays Cover Image

About the Author: Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, where she is also a sessional teacher and supervisor in the creative writing program. The manuscript of her debut novel, The Strays, was shortlisted for the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.


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Find the best price forThe Strays

Goodreads rating: 3.87

Paperback, Published in Aug 2016 by Legends Press

ISBN10: 1785079514 | ISBN13: 9781785079511

Page count: 288

Winner of the Stella Prize 2015

Winner of the Tina Kane Emergent Writers Award

University of Canberra 'Book of the Year' 2016

Longlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award

Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

Shortlised for the Dobbie Literary Award

Shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction

Shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize for New Writing

Shortlisted for an Amazon Rising Star Award

'Emily Bitto writes so well about art, childhood, infatuation, loneliness--you name it. The Strays is a knowing novel, and beautifully done.' -- Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings

'...an immensely pleasurable read.' -- Bookseller + Publisher

'Emily Bitto has written a very stylish and enjoyable debut novel.' -- The Sunday Mail

'...a marvellously accomplished and assured debut... Rich in atmosphere and beautifully observed.' -- Caroline Baum, Booktopia

On her first day at a new school, Lily befriends one of the daughters of infamous painter Evan Trentham. He and his wife are trying to escape the conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting other like-minded artists to live at their home. Lily becomes infatuated with this wild, bohemian lifestyle and longs to truly be a part of the family.

But as the years pass, Lily observes the way the lives of these artists come to reflect their art. Yet it's not Evan, but his own daughters, who pay the price for his radicalism. Almost 30 years later, Lily contemplates the ordinary path her own life took, how she has played it safe, but does freedom come at a cost?

Brought together once more, this is a story of the impact of loss, devotion and obsession, and the demise of one family.

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