I'm Ready Now
By Nigel Featherstone
Release: 22 November 2012
158 pp. pbk
Paperback: $24.95 + p&h
Ebook (.epub) : $10.00
Following the death of her husband, Lynne Gleeson travels from her grand ancestral Hobart home to visit her son Gordon in Sydney. Lynne’s alone for the first time in her life and has big plans, but does she have the courage to see them through? Meanwhile Gordon, emotionally isolated and lost in his Year of Living Ridiculously, is determined to find stimulation wherever he can, regardless of the consequences. But will Gordon’s last adventure prove too much for the people who love him?
Shortlisted for the 2013 ACT Book of the Year
Highly Commended in the 2013 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards (Fiction)
"Featherstone writes with sensitivity and a terrific eye for what it is that makes love – or at least sustained sexual connection – so very thrilling. Ultimately I’m Ready Now is about ‘feeling life’ – feeling one’s way around its unpleasant limits and reaching the end of its strangely narrow circuits. Thoughtful and frequently wistful, it serves as a guide to Sydney’s sadder streets and as a map of those moments of emotional maturity where you realise that it isn’t all going to work out. Nuanced and thoroughly original."
—The Newtown Review of Books (read full review)
"'Writing novellas might seem a little anachronistic or studied, a bit like playing the harp, say, reading Henry James, or listening to LPs. In Featherstone's hands, though, the novella form becomes an opportunity for concise, intense, concentrated emotion. For him, 156 pages are plenty to introduce plot twists, to give characters depth and feeling, to juxtapose emotions, and to colour his settings with textured, intriguing detail."
—Mark Thomas, Canberra Times
"A gentle but powerful narrative that grabs you and holds you till the end."
"Nigel Featherstone builds tension and mystery around his characters’ behaviour without undermining their realness or humanity, and without alienating readers. We warm to them even while we wonder about the wisdom of their decisions and motivations. Besides the characterisation, I also like the novella’s voice and structure. It’s told first-person in the alternating voices of Lynne and Gordon, and is effectively paced, largely through varying the length of the chapters. And so for me, the book is about 'living imaginatively' and about liberation, but it is also about how the past can stall us if we don’t get it in the right perspective. Featherstone opens the book with two epigraphs, one being TS Eliot’s 'Home is where one starts from'. I think that, in a way, says it all."
—Whispering Gums (read full review)
"I’m Ready Now is masterful in its execution. This is not high impact, flashy narrative. It doesn’t need to be. So delicately does Featherstone introduce the nuances of his characters and the incidents in their lives that – despite their simplicity – you are drawn in, eager to learn how these flawed and real characters fare. It doesn’t end in a walloping climax or the decisive nature of a bullet but with a simple yet life-changing decision. This is a perfect companion to Featherstone’s previous novella, Fall on Me, and both prove the man has a commanding grip on the novella form."
—BMA Magazine (read full review)
"A moving and thoughtful account of love and relationships in various guises."
—Judges’ report, 2013 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards (Fiction)
BOOK CLUB NOTES
If you live in the ACT region and would like Nigel Featherstone to be a guest of your book club please see the I'm Ready Now Book Club Notes.
Listen to the author read the first chapter on our podcast page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer of adult fiction – his contemporary dramas plunge into family dynamics, new relationship types, masculinity, history, and the lure of secrets. He is the author of three novellas: The Beach Volcano (Blemish Books, 2012), which has been described ‘Elegant and original’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘Accomplished – an intense fiction range’ (Canberra Times), and ‘Utterly enthralling’ (Newtown Review of Books); I’m Ready Now (Blemish Books, 2012), which was short-listed for the 2013 ACT Book of the Year and the 2013 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction; and Fall on Me (Blemish Books, 2011), which won the 2012 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction. His novel Remnants (Pandanus Books, 2005) was published to acclaim, as was his story collection Joy (2000).
Featherstone is also the author of 45 stories published in Australian literary journals, including the Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Island, and Overland, as well as in the US. Since 2007 he has been a frequent contributor to Panorama, the highly regarded weekend magazine of the Canberra Times, and the Fairfax Media network more broadly; he also writes for BMA Magazine and Australian Book Review. Featherstone has been awarded residencies at: Varuna (Blue Mountains); Bundanon (Shoalhaven River); and the Kingsbridge Gatekeeper’s Cottage, courtesy of the Launceston City Council. In 2013 he was a Creative Fellow at UNSW Canberra/Australian Defence Force Academy. From 2010 to 2014 he was the founding editor of Verity La, for which he received a 2012 Canberra Critics Circle Award.