Days Like This

Penguin just sent me the first copy of Days Like This hot off the press. The cover looks absolutely beautiful – thank you Arielle at Penguin, designer extraordinaire.

Days Like This will be released on August 1, 2011. If you would like to read an excerpt and see details, please go to:

http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780143206545/days

or have a look at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/604016.Alison_Stewart

My new young adult novel, Days Like This has had an interesting journey and it hasn’t been published yet! It was shortlisted for the 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award and picked as one of three finalists in the young adult section. The lovely Amy Ackley won with her novel, Sign Language, but Jane Godwin from Penguin Australia offered me a contract and Penguin will publish Days Like This in September 2011.

You can read about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2010 here:

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/former-herald-journalist-in-running-for-amazon-novel-award-20100604-xkme.html

Synopsis:

Days Like This explores the ultimate alienation – when a society implodes right down to the point that parents forget to care for their own offspring. And then, more critically, how those offspring learn to cope. When Lily’s brother Daniel disappears, she and her sister Alice are in danger from the very people they trust. As her critical seventeenth birthday approaches, Lily knows she must leave her parents’ house. Days Like This, which Lily narrates, is set in the walled city of Sydney, a privileged place, yet one devoid of compassion and wiped of its history. Those who have no connections are turned out beyond the walls and the children keep disappearing. In time, all schools close. Young people are confined to their homes with harsh penalties for disobedience and eventually, they become nothing but gruesome commodities.  It is not long before those in power begin to desire the impossible – to prolong their lives. Their craving replaces parental instinct. They subject their victims to a cruel experimentation that brings something worse than pain: “Every time the old people with the soft hands and gentle voices came to drain them, the young people aged.” With difficulty because she is a valuable asset, Lily manages to escape but where will she go and what is beyond those walls? Can she find Daniel and is it safe to leave her younger sister behind with the parents who are no longer parents? Days Like This challenges us to examine what we value. Do we value a sense of historic and literal place, the natural environment and the dignity of the individual or do we instead seek a world that satisfies us only materially?This a novel of hope and redemption, aimed at the older end of the young adult market. Despite the confronting disintegration of a familiar world, Days Like This insists that there is room for a compassionate society that values decency and integrity. Lily’s search will require courage, determination, and a profound belief in peoples’ essential humanity.

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About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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