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The sound of horses' hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn't totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn't died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he's pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once kwn as One Tree. Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal's Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land. It is a love story of impossible beauty and sadness, a chronicle of dreams 'turned inside out', and miracles that never last, framed against a world both tender and unspeakably hard.
Gillian Mears's books include Ride a Cock Horse, Fineflour (winner of a Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book), The Mint Lawn (winner of the Australian/Vogel Literary Award), and The Grass Sister (winner of the regional Commonwealth Prize for Best Book). A Map of the Gardens won the 2003 Steele Rudd Australian Short Story Award.
Winner of Victorian Premier's Literary Award - Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction 2012 and Australian Literature Society Gold Medal 2012 and Colin Roderick Award 2012 and Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Australia): Fiction 2012. Shortlisted for Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature: Fiction Award 2014 and NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2013 and Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012.