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Madelaine's debut novel Troppo won the City of Fremantle T.A.G Hungerford Award and has been longlisted for the 2018 Dobbie Literary Award. Last year, she was granted an Asialink Arts Residency, funded by the WA Department of Culture and the Arts, to work on her second novel 'Red Can Origami' in Tokyo. Madelaine loves to travel, loves to surf, and is currently based in Exmouth, Western Australia.

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Western Australia
Authors Book Genres
Literary Fiction
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Literary Fiction, Thriller

Black magic, big waves and mad Aussie expats.

In Indonesia, Penny is drifting, partying, hanging out – a thousand miles away from claustrophobic Perth and her career-minded boyfriend. But things take a dangerous turn when she goes to work at Shane’s Sumatran Oasis.

Caught up in the hostility directed at Shane, and flirting and surfing with the hell-man Matt, Penny soon finds herself swept into a world where two very different cultures must collide.

'Where Troppo is particularly sharp ... is in its abstract yet precise evocations of the sensory overload of Indonesia and in its dense, poetic riffs on the almost narcotic pull of chasing waves.'
Weekend Australian

'... as young Perth surfer Penny is drawn further into the unpredictable Australian’s dark heart, the racial and political tensions are ratcheted up to the nth degree, resulting in an explosive climax that will leave you breathless.'
The West Australian

Literary Fiction, Thriller

Ava has just landed a job as a reporter in Gubinge, a tiny tropical town in Australia's north. Gubinge has a way of getting under the skin. Ava is hooked on the thrill of going hand-to-hand with barramundi, awed by country, and stunned by pindan sunsets. But a bitter collision between a native title group and a Japanese-owned uranium mining company is ripping the community in half. From the rodeos and fishing holes of northern Australia to the dazzling streets of night-time Tokyo, Ava is swept in pursuit of the story. Will Gerro Blue destroy Burrika country? Or will a uranium mine lift its people from poverty? And can Ava hold on to her principles if she gives in to her desire for Noah, the local Burrika boss?

This is not a long novel, but Dickie packs quite a lot into it: the tension between the indigenous and the white population; just what rights native title confers; the dilemma facing the indigenous groups with respect to mining; the environmental impact of open-cut uranium mining; and the indigenous connection to the land, to country, all feature.

Her characters and their dialogue are credible, especially with their very human flaws: for all her strong principals, Ava’s behaviour is sometimes disappointing, perhaps even to herself. Dickie’s descriptive prose is wonderfully evocative: “As you sweat your way to sleep, you think about being under the spell of this country, think about how it’s almost too ancient, too majestic, too difficult to wrap the heart around in comprehension.”

Dickie takes the unusual step of writing in the second person, to which the reader can adapt, but sadly, her excellent novel loses half a star of the potential five-star rating for indulging in the annoying editorial affectation of omitting quote marks for speech. Dialogue is denoted with a new line, indent and dash, but this tends to interrupt the flow of the text, thus becoming a distraction. A clever cover designed by Nada Backovic encloses this (sometimes dark and gritty) tale. A powerful, brilliantly topical and thought-provoking read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Better Reading Preview and Fremantle Press.

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