Six Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Full of glorious angst, embarrassment and small achievements.
Hot afternoons on school ovals, the terrifying promise of losing your virginity, sneaking booze from your mother’s pantry, the painful sophistication and squalor of your first share house, cancer, losing a parent.
Tegan Bennett Daylight’s powerful collection captures the dangerous, tilting terrain of becoming adult. Over these ten stories, we find acute portrayals of loss and risk, of sexual longing and wreckage, blunders and betrayals. Threaded through the collection is the experience of troubled, destructive Tasha, whose life unravels in unexpected ways, and who we come to love for her defiance, her wit and her vulnerability.
Stunningly written, and shot through with humour and menace, Six Bedrooms is a mesmerising collection of moments from adolescence through adulthood, a mix of all the potent ingredients that make up a life.
Tegan Bennett Daylight is a teacher, critic and fiction writer. Her story collection Six Bedrooms was shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize. She is the author of several books for children and teenagers, and the novels Bombora, What Falls Away and Safety. She lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband and two children.
The ten stories in this collection take the reader through the six bedrooms of teenagers. A cast of feckless, brilliant and believable characters experience first sexual encounters, illness, death and grief. All the stories in Six Bedrooms connect the reader with the world of adolescence, in a strong and urgent representation of the vulnerabilities and the loneliness of the young.
Tegan Bennett Daylight navigates her territory with great energy and skill. Her writing is fine-edged and precise, delivering an insider’s view of the minutiae of teenage lives. These stories elicit great concern for the young, and also for the state of parenthood. They are thoughtful, full of understanding about situations and motivations, and almost painfully believable.
‘It all comes together as one of the best books of the year. This is an incredibly well written and thoughtful, sad and funny work, and the kind of book you want to press onto people and encourage them to read. Highly recommended.’ Chris Somerville, Readings
‘The world of Six Bedrooms will be familiar to Gen X Sydneysiders who lived in share houses in the 1980s. There’s the Mardi Gras parade, someone playing a Style Council record and a junkie flatmate who is hardly ever seen. This book of short stories – some interconnected, some standalone – is intimate and beautifully observed.’ Tracy Sorensen, Newtown Review of Books
‘Six Bedrooms, however long we have had to wait for it, shows Daylight to be one of the most morally astute, technically adroit, anti-formulaic and unsentimental practitioners of the short story craft in Australia.’ Peter Pierce, Sydney Morning Herald