Marlo by Jay Carmichael


The stunning new novel from the author of Ironbark.

It’s the 1950s in conservative Australia, and Christopher, a young gay man, moves to ‘the City’ to escape the repressive atmosphere of his tiny hometown. Once there, however, he finds that it is just as censorial and punitive, in its own way.

Then Christopher meets Morgan, and the two fall in love – a love that breathes truth back into Christopher’s stifled life. But the society around them remains rigid and unchanging, and what begins as a refuge for both men inevitably buckles under the intensity of navigating a world that wants them to refuse what they are. Will their devotion be enough to keep them together?

In reviving a time that is still so recent yet so vastly different from now, Jay Carmichael has drawn on archival material, snippets of newspaper articles, and photos to create the claustrophobic environment in which these two men lived and loved. Told with Carmichael’s ear for sparse, poetic beauty, Marlo takes us into the landscape of a relationship defined as much by what is said and shared as by what has to remain unsaid.

Praise for Ironbark-

‘Jay Carmichael’s Ironbark does the extraordinary. It achieves what we readers want from the best of fiction- to tell a story anew, and to capture a world in all its wonder, ugliness, tenderness, and cruelty. This is a novel of coming of age and of grief that astonishes us by its wisdom and by its compassion. It’s a work of great and simple beauty, so good it made me jealous. And grateful.’
-Christos Tsiolkas

Praise for Ironbark-

‘Jay Carmichael approaches the world as a poet, from an angle that is all his own. He reveals a hidden, pulsing reality beneath the surface of the everyday.’
-Miles Allinson, author of Fever of Animals and In Moonland

Praise for Ironbark-

‘In sparse and quiet prose, Jay Carmichael’s debut is an enveloping novel about grief, survival, and the futility of finding peace in a place you don’t belong.’
-Shaun Prescott, author of The Town