After the Rain

Aisling Smith

This is the story of Benjamin Fortune, but you won’t hear from Benjamin.

Malti, Benjamin’s wife, describes a year in their married life and its gradual disintegration.
Ellery details her permanent estrangement from her father.
Verona cannot see the faults her mother and older sister do.

The three women all see the mercurial Benjamin in vastly different ways.

Drawing inspiration from AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book – in particular, the idea that ‘the fantastical underlies the world we live in’, Aisling Smith’s beautifully drawn trio of women live with an awareness that things, and people, may be more than they seem. Magic and folklore threads throughout: from the legendary Fijian cannibal Udre Udre, to the impish Kuttichatan and the dreaded spectral Bhoot.

After the Rain is also a revelatory work about diaspora, following Malti’s experiences of race as a Fijian-Indian immigrant in 1970s Australia and the internalised racism that white society inevitably creates. Meanwhile, with coup after coup, Malti’s beautiful homeland across the sea is slowly cannibalising itself.

An exquisitely written work, which lingers long after the final page, from an electrifying new literary talent.

After the Rain announces an assured and evocative new Australian literary voice. Smith, using the disintegration of a marriage, explores powerful themes around communication, race, culture and family. Aisling’s writing is evocative and sophisticated, and the story is one all the judges want to read much more of.'

- Richell Prize judges

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Acquiring Publisher
Vanessa Radnidge
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Fiction: Literary

Aisling Smith

Aisling Smith has an Honours degree in English Literature and Linguistics from Monash University. In 2010, she was offered a place in the MFA program at Columbia University. She has spent periods of time in both France and the USA. She recently completed a PhD in literature on author David Foster Wallace. After the Rain is her first novel.

Hachette Australia

Hachette Australia is one of Australia’s leading publishing houses. We seek out the best stories. We nurture them. Then we share them.

After the Rain
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