From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, there’s a long tradition of writing about eventful summers where personal crises unfold across long days and languid nights. Rebecca Harkins-Cross asks two of Australia’s most exciting young authors about how the intensity, transience and torpor of the season plays a role in their new novels and in literature at large. Ronnie Scott’s The Adversary is a summer novel about young people exploring their sexuality and sociability. Madeleine Watts’s The Inland Sea is the story of a young woman’s fraught final summer in Sydney.

Ronnie Scott (Australian)

Ronnie Scott

Ronnie Scott is an essayist and critic. In 2007 he founded The Lifted Brow, an independent literary magazine. He is a lecturer in creative writing at RMIT. The Adversary is his first novel.

Madeleine Watts (Australian)

Madeleine Watts

Madeleine Watts's debut novel is The Inland Sea. Her essays and fiction have been published in The Believer, Lithub, The White Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Griffith Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She is the winner of the 2015 Griffith Review Novella Competition. Originally from Sydney, she has been based in New York since 2013.

Rebecca Harkins-Cross (Australian)

Rebecca Harkins-Cross

Rebecca Harkins-Cross is an award-winning non-fiction writer and cultural critic. Based in Melbourne, her work has been published widely in journals and periodicals across Australia and the world. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing, finalising her debut essay collection Terror Australis: Essays on Film and Home, and has received a 2020 Fulbright Scholarship to spend six months at Columbia School of the Arts’ Writing Program in New York City.