In this graceful, witty collection of linked short stories, set during the 1970s and 1980s in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jerusalem, Denver, New Orleans, Venice, New York, and Sydney, characters weave in and out of one another’s lives, restless, often optimistic, sometimes despondent, seeking things they can’t always define, believing that things will be better — that they, themselves, will be better — somewhere else. Only in hindsight are there glimmerings that what really matters is being present in the now and the here.
Somewhere Else was first published in 1989 by William Heinemann Australia. This revised and expanded edition includes an additional story, “Harrison’s Last Stand”, published later in Verandah Magazine, but belonging with the stories in this book. The book also includes selected short stories from an earlier collection, Faces You Can’t Find Again, published by Neptune Press, Geelong, in 1980.
Republished as a new edition by Guardian Press, 2012.
Praise for Somewhere Else
“Michele Nayman captures the fierce costs and the fleeting consolations of this vagabond existence with grace, insight and compassion. She is especially adept and sharp-eyed in conveying the nuances of malaise among western enclaves of journalists, diplomats and business people in Asia. . . . Nayman affirms the unvanquished capacity of her characters to be warm, generous and risk-taking in the teeth of accumulated losses and geographical buffetings.” — Janette Turner Hospital, Australian Book Review
“Considerable evocative power.” — Barbara Jefferis, The Weekend Australian
“Clever, well-worked and thoughtful.” — The West Australian
“Somewhere Else highlights displacement as its major theme. There are quirky characters and funny coincidences and conversations, which help to lighten the overall tone of alienation. Michele Nayman is presently writing a novel which, judging by the quality of this collection, should be well worth looking out for.” — Katherine Womsley, Cosmopolitan Magazine
“The varying and far-flung locations, as well as inhabitants, are described with exquisite immediacy. . . . With amusing repartee and swift, polished diction, Michele Nayman reveals glimpses of vulnerability, and of attitudes, people and places not always readily discernible.” — Sylvia Irlicht, The Australian Jewish News
Praise for Faces You Can’t Find Again
“Michele Nayman’s talent excited me when I came across her stories in the magazines Inprint and Quadrant, and then later in Tabloid Story, Ash and Westerly. She shone out as a brilliant young story-teller. She is fundamentally curious about people. The stories are investigations and, as a writer, she is reporting back to herself and to us.” – Frank Moorhouse. Author of Grand Days
“Nayman knows how to evoke feelings of despair, love, hate and tenderness in her writing; she understands the power of understatement, with a Carson McCullers sympathy for the lonely and the seedy. I will be watching for future work by this author.” — Diana Kan, Luna Magazine
Magazines and Newspapers: Some of these stories first appeared, in slightly different form, in The Australian Literary Quarterly (Weekend Australian), The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, Tabloid Story (The Melbourne Times), The Sun, Westerly, Imprint, Storyteller, Quadrant, Ash Magazine, Melbourne Chronicle, Kivun, Melbourne University Magazine, Hero Magazine, and Verandah.
Anthologies: Some stories appeared in The State of the Art (Edited by Frank Moorhouse, Penguin Australia, 1983), Jewish Writing from Down Under: Australia and New Zealand (Edited by Robert & Roberta Kalechofsky, Micah Publications, USA, 1984), Shalom (Edited by Nancy Keesing, Penguin Australia, 1988), and Personal Best 2: Stories and Statements by Australian Writers (Edited by Garry Disher, Imprint, 1991). “The House on Lafayette Street” was broadcast on ABC Radio, 1986.
Somewhere Else was first published by William Heinemann Australia, Melbourne, 1989.
Faces You Can’t Find Again was first published by Neptune Press, Geelong, 1980.