Prequel to McGahan's bestselling novel Praise. Gordon, failed writer and bottleshop boy, feels his life is going nowhere and heads north with Wayne in search of their rightful place in the culture of a nation.
Andrew McGahan was born in Dalby, Queensland, and now lives in Victoria. His first novel Praise (1992) won the 1991 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award and the regional prize for best first book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second novel was the prequel 1988 (1995), and his third novel Last Drinks (2000) was shortlisted for multiple awards, including The Age Book of the Year and the Courier Mail Book of the Year, and won a Ned Kelly award for crime writing. In 2004, The White Earth was published and won the 2005 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for the South East Asia and South Pacific region, The Age Book of the Year (Fiction) and the Courier Mail Book of the Year Award. It was also shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards. McGahan's fifth novel, Underground, was published in 2006 and was shortlisted in the Queensland Premier's Prize for fiction and for the Aurealis Award. In 2009, Wonders of a Godless World was published to acclaim and won the Aurealis Award.
McGahan's award-winning writing also includes stage plays and the screenplay for the movie version of Praise.
In 2011, McGahan launched his children's book series, the Ship Kings. The Coming of the Whirlpool was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award - older readers, for the Indie Awards, for the WA Premier's Book Award, was a finalist in the Aurealis Awards and was longlisted for the Gold Inky for an Australian YA book. The second novel in the Ship King series - Voyage of the Unquiet Ice was published in 2012.