Winner of the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, Acorn Foundation Literary Award
Western Australia, the wheatbelt. Lew McLeod has been travelling and working with Painter Hayes since he was a boy. Shearing, charcoal burning, whatever comes. Painter made him his first pair of shoes. It's a hard and uncertain life but it's the only one he knows.
But Lew's a grown man now. And with this latest job, shearing for John Drysdale and his daughter Clara, everything will change.
Stephen Daisley writes in lucid, rippling prose of how things work, and why; of the profound satisfaction in hard work done with care, of love and friendship and the damage that both contain.
Stephen Daisley was born in 1955 and grew up in the North Island of New Zealand. He has worked on sheep and cattle stations, on oil and gas construction sites and as a truck driver, among many other jobs. Stephen's first novel, Traitor, won the 2011 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and five children.
'Coming Rain is a universal story of love and aspiration, betrayal and disappointment. The prose is masterful, simple and moving. The characters are utterly believable and complex in their ordinariness. It was a book that all three judges came across joyfully and read with the ease of those who know they're in the hands of a confident writer.' Jill Rawnsley, convenor of the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Fiction category
'Daisley's reverence and knowledge of the outback transcends the cliché of heat, dust and flies, inviting readers into a mesmerising world of desert flora and fauna...He minutiae of the woolshed and animal behaviour are brought to life with skill and affection.' Readings
'[Daisley's] imagination is vitalised by the visceral—shearing, killing, saddling and riding horses, using tools, accommodating to whatever physical surroundings present themselves...this late beginner continues to make his distinguished, solitary way, not least in reclaiming the rural societies of a half century ago, rendered so vividly that they seem keenly of the present, rather than past curiosities.' Australian
'[Daisley] writes with a maturity and insight wrought of experience. His writing is at once cruel and gentle, graphically violent, including to animals, yet tender and beautiful.' Sunday Star Times
'Coming Rain shimmers with dusty red heat...Tune in to the distinctive rhythm of the prose and you'll enjoy the rich, subtle rewards of a really good book.' NZ Listener
'Some of [Daisley's] most vivid writing. Here the minutiae of farm life are rendered with respect and sympathy...Moving and brilliant.' Australian Book Review
'Powerful masculine prose, brutal truths and unflinching truthfulness make this a novel that is as unsettling as it is evocative.' New Zealand Herald
'[His] writing style reminds me of Henry Lawson's. Its short, sharp sentences and chapters, raw language and dialogue define the characters and the Outback in a grimly realistic but deeply humane way.' Good Reading
'Stephen Daisley writes with the potent economy of a short-story writer, and he triumphs with this visceral account that will linger in your mind long after the last page.' North and South
'[Coming Rain] has lingered in my mind all year, not least because one of the main characters is a dingo.' Australian, Best Books of 2015
'The book that I keep pressing into friends' hands is Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley in which alternate chapters are narrated by a pregnant female dingo. Nothing...