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Big Rough Stones

Margaret Merrilees

Big Rough Stones
They surged across King William Street, around and up onto the bronze Boer War horseman at the corner of North Terrace. Ro linked arms with the woman next to her. 'Take the toys from the boys', they sang. The hero almost disappeared under a festoon of women, but clung valiantly to his rifle, bronze upper lip stiff. It was his horse who looked most horrified.

Meet Ro at thirty-something. She is committed to cures for every ill from monogamy to orange armpit fungus. Her ambitions are passionate, her energy boundless, her intentions generally good ...

Thirty years later, are the edges any smoother?

'You thought feminism would stop violence against women,' said Julia. 'And that would stop war. And stop people trashing the Earth. You tried.'

'Not alone,' said Ro modestly. 'I had help.'


This is a story of community, friendship, sisterhood, and the coming of age that continues all our lives.

Praise for Big Rough Stones
'A loving but realistic recollection of earlier decades and any reader who has lived through the alternative lifestyles of the 1970s and '80s will feel shocks of familiarity.' - Kerryn Goldsworthy< Age

'The activism of the book's different eras jolt the memory and the main characters have a reality that transcends the printed page.' - Katharine England, Advertiser

'You will fall in love with Ro and the mosaic of women who encircle her in a merry-go-round of relationships. While older lesbians will recognise the protests and discoveries that were made in the eighties, it is so easy for everyone to associate with the characters and their struggles as we have either travelled the same path or know someone who has ... Merrilees’ novel is in many ways a history of the shared experiences of lesbians as well as being an inspiration the next generations.' - Lezley Herbert, OUTinPerth

'Many characters, issues and different opinions in a zigzag timeline present a challenging read. But I enjoyed working out the puzzle.' - Judith Grace, Good Reading

'Big rough stones is a straightforward, accessible story with a lot of dialogue that keeps the story moving along – but this is not all it is. Like Tales of the city, it offers a realistic, but warm-hearted portrayal of a time and place, with all the attendant personal and political messiness. An engaging read.' - Sue Terry, Whispering Gums

Margaret Merrilees's previous novel The First Week (2013) won the Unpublished Manuscript Award at Adelaide Writers' Week, and then was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award, the NSW Premier's Award and the Onkaparinga People's Choice Award. In 2014, Wakefield Press published her Fables Queer and Familiar, illustrated by Chia Moan. The 'Fables' started out as an online serial and they have also been broadcast around the country as a radio serial.

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Details
Category Literature - Fiction
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055526
Extent 296 pages
Price: AU$32.95 including GST
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