Listening to Mondrian

Allen & Unwin, 2006

 Nadia Wheatley’s CBCA-award-winning anthology, The Night Tolkien Died, was described by critic Stephen Matthews as setting ‘a new benchmark for young adult fiction’ and by Pam Macintyre as ‘terrific, compressed, passionate, frank stories... about serious adolescence’.

In response to requests from teachers and librarians for a new release of the book, the author brought together this collection of six of the original stories, together with two new stories. In making the selection, the focus was on stories to do with family life, in all its complexity.

As the characters explore who they are, and how they fit into their family, their community and their world, there is much for young adult readers to empathise with. At the same time, these finely-crafted stories provide excellent models for young people’s own writing. 

With its strong focus on issues of identity and belonging, this anthology is an invaluable supplementary resource for the New South Wales Year 12 syllabus.

Perfectly pitched for readers in secondary school, Listening to Mondrian would also be accessible to mature primary-age students.  


Selected Reviews

Wheatley assumes, quite rightly, that teenagers have the intelligence, empathy and perspicacity to recognise more than just good plots and settings... This is a rich collection, for individual or group readers.
— Barbara Baker, Courier Mail
These stories all offer sympathetic, credible voices for young teenagers... I recommend the collection highly for libraries for individual reading and as a suitable vehicle for small group ‘literature circle’-style discussion.
— Bill Wooton, Reservoir Secondary College teacher, Viewpoint
A great collection of short stories that would be useful as read-aloud stories to classes and also be the basis of discussions and writing exercises dealing with various aspects of family and other relationships
— Sue Johnston, Marsden Education Centre Library, SAETA Newsletter