The Weight of a Human Heart
Sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, this collection turns the rules of storytelling on their head.
A series of graphs illustrates the disintegration of a marriage, step by excruciating step.
A literary stoush – and an affair – play out in the book review section of a national newspaper.
The heartbreaking story of a Rwandan boy is hidden within his English exam paper.
A young girl learns her mother’s disturbing secrets through the broken key on a typewriter.
Ranging from Australia to Africa to China and back again, The Weight of a Human Heart heralds a fresh new voice in Australian literature.
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Praise for The Weight of a Human Heart:
“Stories full of wit, irony, wild invention, love and pain — and sometimes shocking power.” – Paddy O’Reilly
“By turns acerbic, playful and serious, O’Neill is equally at home with satire and pathos.” – Cate Kennedy
“With each new story O’Neill redefines the boundaries of what is possible” – Patrick Cullen
‘full of verve and wit.’ - Canberra Times
“tremendously satisfying … this is the most entertaining short story collection I've come across. Ever.” - Ilura Gazette
“an impressive collection of stories” - Verity La
"Clever, uproarious, dazzling collection of short stories" – The Monthly
‘In the hands of this able practitioner the minor art form of the short story becomes major art.’ - Bookseller + Publisher
“A book that delights in scuffing the conventions of short fiction... O'Neill brings playfulness into stories for a literate audience” – Sydney Morning Herald
"The Weight of a Human Heart is refreshing, funny, devastating...O’Neill is a smart and daring writer; he challenges the conventions of short fiction, but his stories are still deeply satisfying and offer glimpses into worlds readers need to see, worlds that are vile, beautiful, and utterly human." – Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise
Interviews and Reviews:
Shortlisted for the Australian Short Story Collection Prize in the 2012 Queensland Literary Awards
Shortlisted for the UTS Glenda Adams Award in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards