A brilliant collection of short stories by the bestselling, award-winning author of Leaning Towards Infinity, Painted Woman and The Secret Cure
'Elegant and satisfying, and so percipient of human yearning and loss.' Tom Keneally
Written in sparkling, nuanced prose, the stories in Do You Love Me or What? by one of Australia’s most celebrated and beloved writers capture the poignant shared experiences of connection, devotion, obsession and rejection.
A woman risks everything for a dangerous friendship. Shyness brings two people together and then shyness breaks them apart. A daughter tries to understand why her father abandoned her, and a vengeful lover chooses between a lie and compassion. Someone yearning for a way to belong learns to look in muddy waters, and a blinded dancer sees through her demons at last. A pilgrim seeking transformation in Florence finally realises how to live, and a girl finds a way to overcome her trauma – but a critic tries to maul her after death,
Sharply knowing, wryly humorous and achingly sad, Do You Love Me or What? speaks to the everyday truths of what it means to love, and be loved.
Praise for Do You Love Me or What?
'A first rate collection' Peter Pierce, Sydney Morning Herald
'Beautiful prose and remarkable wisdom' The Saturday Paper
'Wonderfully supple and luminous: like poetry, the stories can be read again and again for subtly shifting nuance' Katharine England, Adelaide Advertiser
'Woolfe takes up the measure of life in a single line' Thuy On, Weekend Australian
'Elegant and satisfying, and so percipient of human yearning and loss.' – Tom Keneally AO
'These stories are so achingly intimate, so immediately known, so emotionally satisfying and moving, and written in such luminously simple prose that it's impossible not to be enthralled at once and lost for hours in the joy of reading.' – Alex Miller
'A beautifully crafted journey through the complex chambers of the human heart.' – Patti Miller
'Something recognisable stirs the reader from the very first lines, often something awkward and always something real, carrying the reader into the depths of lives that accost us with their neediness or their curiosity or their long held dreams.These are stories that engage as they cleverly unfold important questions about love and friendship and the vulnerability of most of us, in the rush and tumble of an implacable world.’ – Libby Hathorn
Praise for Leaning Towards Infinity
‘Magical in its elevation of mathematics into a realm of divine beauty, charming in its depiction of the equally demanding sphere of motherhood’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘the deepest novel of ideas in years’ – Baltimore Sun
‘A glorious, nourishing, tumultuous novel ... in the great Australian tradition of Patrick White and Christina Stead’ – Fay Weldon
‘Woolfe's name can sit beside Marquez's with barely a blush’ – The Daily Telegraph (London)
‘Beautiful, inventive writing ... an unflinching exploration of the complex bond of love’ – Publishers Weekly (US)
‘Witty and seductive’ – Weekend Australian
‘Brilliant’ – Sydney Morning Herald
‘Sue Woolfe places herself amongst the finest of Australian writers’ – Thomas Keneally
‘Tremendously original and inventive’ – Kate Grenville
Sue Woolfe has worked as a lecturer, TV subtitle editor, documentary maker and cook. She is the author of the bestselling novel about mathematics and motherhood, Leaning Towards Infinity, to date published in five countries and described the Baltimore Sun as ‘the deepest novel of ideas in years’, and by Fay Weldon as ‘glorious’. It won the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in 1996 and was shortlisted for many other prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize and the prestigious US TipTree Prize. She re-wrote it for the stage, and it’s been workshopped in New York and produced at the Ensemble, Sydney.
Sue Woolfe’s other works include the novels Painted Woman, published in Australia in 1989 and republished since by Allen and Unwin, then Random and in translation in France in 2008, (also professionally produced twice as a stage play and as a radio play for the ABC) and The Secret Cure, a story about science, genetics, autism and love, (Macmillan 2003, UWA 2007, and currently being adapted to an opera). In 2012, Harper Collins published her most recent novel The Oldest Song in the World, set in the Northern Territory in an Indigenous community. She has published many short stories, some in translation, and has written occasional articles for the press.
In non-fiction, she co-authored with Kate Grenville Making Stories: How Ten Australian Novels Were Written, and alone, in 2007, The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady: A Writer Looks at Creativity and Neuroscience, investigating what neuroscience reveals about creativity. She has followed this up with scholarly articles.
She has written one script for TV, a comedy which won an AWGIE (1988).
Sue Woolfe teaches Creativity and Narration at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and runs annual writing retreats overseas.
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