Home Time

Beverley Farmer

An emotionally challenging and deeply rewarding read.

Set across Australia, Greece and the USA in the mid-twentieth century, this collection of fourteen stories follows a disparate series of people at critical junctures, grappling with loneliness, fear, belonging, mental illness, disability, aging and longing.

First published in 1985, Home Time was shortlisted for both the National Book Council Award for Australian Literature in 1985, and The Age Book of the Year for Imaginative Writing.

  • Fiction
  • 215 Pages
  • E-Book
  • Published December 2021
  • ISBN 9781922730725

A Body of Water

Beverley Farmer

This is a new edition of Beverley Farmer’s out of print classic A Body of Water, which in its mixing of genres – essay, memoir, fiction, folk tale – opened up new frontiers for Australian literature.

The innovative qualities of A Body of Water were further developed in Farmer’s subsequent works The Bone House and This Water: Five Tales, both published by Giramondo.

A Body of Water was first published thirty years ago. The writing of the book takes place over a year, and portrays a complete cycle in the writer’s life. It begins on her forty-sixth birthday, in a period of emotional inhibition and loneliness – her marriage has broken down, and she is living on her own. By the end of the cycle the narrator has written short stories and poems, which are included in the book, alongside essays about the writing process, journal entries, excerpts from books she has been reading, spiritual meditations, and finely detailed observations of the life around her.

The title A Body of Water could be taken to refer to the book’s settings along the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria, with its bays, the outer harbour, and the lighthouse, standing like a sentinel at the entrance to the ocean. It also suggests the diverse material which fills the book, like a body of water with all that it contains and nurtures. Throughout, one is aware of the writer’s own body, as an entity which shifts its identity like water, with its changes of mood, relationships and reflections.

Further literary analysis by Janet Shaw

  • Fiction
  • 368 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Published October 2020
  • ISBN ePub 9781920882068

This Water: Five Tales

Beverley Farmer

Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing, in her exploration of feminine concerns, and her use of different literary forms – novel, short story, poetry, essay, journal, myth and fairy tale.

This Water is the last work of fiction by Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing in this country. It is a collection of five interwoven tales, three of them novellas. Each has a woman at its centre: in each the women speak, act, think for themselves, in opposing or escaping from an oppressive authority.

One tale, set on the south coast of Victoria, is animated by the legend of the Great Silkie; another finds its rebellious princess in Lake Annaghmakerrig in Ireland; a third has Clytemnestra as its central figure, mourning the daughter sacrificed by her husband Agamemnon so that he could go to war with Troy – surely one of the great laments in Australian literature.

References to water and stone, ice and fire, light and darkness are woven throughout the collection, as are figures and images from myth and fairy tale – kings and brides, swans and seals, a ring of gold, ‘the blood red of her silks’ – their power evoked by repetition and resonance, and the remarkable rhythms of Farmer’s language.

  • Fiction
  • 276 pages
  • Paperback
  • Published June 2017
  • ISBN 9781925336313
    Epdf ISBN 9781925336368
    Epub ISBN 9781925336375

The Bone House

Beverley Farmer

The three long essays that make up The Bone House are an extended meditation on the life of the body and the life of the mind.

Each essay is based on a single theme and woven out of the same few elemental symbols of earth, and water, fire and blood, light and darkness.

What does art know that we do not? How does the image have such a hold on us all? Alongside the urge to grasp the world, to abstract and delve, is the urge to make our visions known, somehow to fix the moment in time in its fullness of meaning. In the essays, this hoard of moments takes the form of a mosaic, composed of myth, poetry and fable, of relics of the past, of explorations and illuminations and surface impressions. Set out like a commonplace book, they can be read in any sequence, or savoured for their detail.

  • Non-Fiction Essays
  • 324 pages
  • Paperback
  • Published October 2005
  • ISBN 9781920882068
    Epdf ISBN 9781925336863
    Epub ISBN 9781925336870

Collected Stories

Beverley Farmer

Beverley Farmer's reputation as a deeply sensitive and lyrical writer was established with her short stories.

Her two collections Milk and Home Time are included here with five uncollected stories and others which were part of A Body of Water.

  • Fiction
  • 448 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Published May 1996
  • ISBN 9780702228896

The House In The Light

Beverley Farmer

Unsure of her reception after a divorce and an absence of many years, she has come to mourn the old man and take part in the age-old traditions of Easter week.

Bell is still bound, by her son and by the past, to this family and its matriarch Kyria Sofia. The old warmth between the two women is quick to surface, but so too are old grievances and misunderstandings. Brimming with dreams and memories, the house reasserts its claim on Bell. As the family gathers for the Resurrection, she is fighting for her soul. Readers of Milk and Home Time will welcome the return of Bell to the fold of rural Greece with all its riches and austerities of culture and tradition.

  • Fiction
  • 235 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Published January 1995
  • ISBN ‏9780702227196

The Seal Woman

Beverley Farmer

With its luminous grace and subtle transformations, Beverley Farmer's novel The Seal Woman transcends her earlier books, and is her first full-length work of fiction since Alone was published in 1980.

In mourning for her husband lost at sea, Dagmar leaves the wintry landscapes of the north for the tranquillity of Swanhaven and a healing Australian summer. In the house where she spent her honeymoon twenty years before, she begins another journey, from grief to serenity and unexpected harvest. Suffused with exquisite aquatic imagery that reflects the currents in Dagmar's own moods, The Seal Woman charts the interplay of myth and language between the hemispheres.

  • Fiction
  • 336 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Published September 1992
  • ISBN 9780702224379

Place of Birth

Beverley Farmer

A book that combines the best from two collections of Beverley Farmer's short stories: "Home Time" and "Milk".

Whether writing about being an Australian woman in love in Greece, or waiting at the airport for a small son, the author seems able to isolate moments of human experience with clarity.

  • Fiction
  • 224 Pages
  • Paperback
  • Published December 1990
  • ISBN 9780571141487