Monthly Archives: October 2022


‘The story of Iris had to be told and McGregor has produced the roughest but most invaluable diamond.’
– Tony Birch

‘Honestly, I am dazzled. The evocation of 1930s Sydney – the sly-grog trade, the criminalisation of the marginalised, the slums – is visceral and immediate and relevant. It’s a stunner.’
– Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites and Devotion

‘Using scant public records, Fiona Kelly McGregor has composed an entire world. Iris becomes a complex nuanced consciousness, a bearer of experience, thought, feeling, yearnings. This book partakes in a rich tradition of great urban, world-making writings: we might think of Isaac Babel’s Odessa stories, Saul Bellow’s Adventures of Augie March, E L Doctorow’s Ragtime or the Cromwell novels of Hilary Mantel. There’s a magical conjuring up here, a dream-building of people, place and things. Iris to me is not just a great urban novel, but maybe the best Australian city novel ever.’
– Peter Doyle, bestselling author of City of shadows and Crooks like us

‘This is wonderful – a vivid, arresting voice and amazing sense of time, place and dimension on the page. Utterly gripping. Love it.’
– Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek and Wolfe Island

‘McGregor’s novel is a portrait of a woman who is poor and clever, angry and passionate, courageous and loyal. Her life is circumscribed by poverty and struggle. Yet she is no victim. She is a woman of verve and spirit, who grasps the pleasures that life offers her, and lashes out when her freedom is threatened. Iris is an in-depth character study, as well as a vivid and panoramic recreation of a place and time.’
– The Times
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