A poignant and unpredictable debut from an exciting new literary talent. Shortlisted for both The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the Victorian Premier's Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Small Joys of Real Life is Sally Rooney meets Helen Garner.
The night Eva shared a smile with Pat, something started. Two weeks later, lying together in her bed, Pat said, 'You can't live your life saying you'll get around to doing something you know will make you happy. You just have to do it.'
Eva didn't know how devastating those words would turn out to be. Pat dies and the aftershock leaves Eva on unsteady ground. She is pregnant. And she has to make a choice.
Suddenly, the world that she at times already questioned, her career, her roommates and friends, and life in the inner-city are all even harder to navigate. Her best friends, Sarah and Annie, are also dealing with the shifts and changes of their late twenties, and each of them will at times let the others down.
Small Joys of Real Life is a poignant and unpredictable novel from an exciting new literary talent about how the life you have can change in an instant. It's about friendship, desire, loss and growing up to accept that all you can do is be in the moment and look to find the joys in between.
Richards has captured a moment in time succinctly and realistically. This is very much a novel of the friendships formed and fortified in our 20s, and of grief, self-absorption and desire. This absorbing story's greatest strength is in the exploration of the space between friends, and the crossroads each has arrived at. - VPLA judges
SMALL JOYS OF REAL LIFE exudes freshness and authenticity; it reads as something utterly of the moment. Richards' writing is punchy and will appeal to readers everywhere. - Richell Prize judges
Allee Richards' short fiction has been published widely in Australian literary magazines and anthologies, including Kill Your Darlings, The Best Australian Stories, New Australian Fiction, Best Summer Stories, The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks and Australian Book Review. Small Joys of Real Life is her first novel. It was shortlisted for the 2019 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2020 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. She lives in Melbourne and works as a theatre lighting technician.