Iris(2022) Novel

Shortlisted Miles Franklin Award
Shortlisted NSW Premier’s Award
Shortlisted ALS Gold Medal
Shortlisted ARA Historical Novel Prize
Shortlisted Voss Literary Prize
Longlisted Stella Prize
Longlisted BookPeople Award (formerly Booksellers’ Award)
Longlisted ABDA Awards

Sergeant Lillian Armfield leans forward.
What about Black Ada’s, Webber? I know you two went there. What sort of people go there?
Iris smiles.
The sort of people you coppers like to bash.

In late 1932, Iris Webber arrives in Sydney looking for work but the city is still in the grip of the Great Depression and there are few jobs for women at the best of times. She makes her way as best she can: a scam here, a shoplift there, busking with an accordion. And she knows how to use a gun.

When Iris meets young sex worker Maisie Matthews, everything changes. But what options are there in a world where even on the margins, queer desire is harshly punished? The only way forward is paved with violence.

Whip smart, fierce, a woman far ahead of her time, Iris navigates these mean streets with a growing awareness not just of herself, but also of the system enclosing her: narrow, corrupt, brutally prejudiced. Yet there is still joy to be had, sometimes even transcendence.

Based on actual events, narrated in gritty lyrical prose, Iris is another great novel of the city by the best-selling author of Indelible ink.

A selection of reviews –

Susan Sheridan in The Conversation

Declan Fry in The Sydney Morning Herald

Felicity Plunkett in The Australian Book Review

Fiona Wright in The Sydney Review of Books