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Stephen Daisley

  • awardWinner, Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2011
  • What would make a soldier betray his country?

    In the battle-smoke and chaos of Gallipoli, a young New Zealand soldier helps a Turkish doctor fighting to save a boy’s life. Then a shell bursts nearby; the blast that should have killed them both consigns them instead to the same military hospital.

    Mahmoud is a Sufi. A whirling dervish, he says, of the Mevlevi order. He tells David stories. Of arriving in London with a pocketful of dried apricots. Of Majnun, the man mad for love, and of the saint who flew to paradise on a lion skin. You are God, we are all gods, Mahmoud tells David; and a bond grows between them.

    A bond so strong that David will betray his country for his friend.

    Stephen Daisley’s astonishing debut novel is a story of war and of love—how each changes everything, forever. Traitor is that rarest of things: a work of fiction that will transport the reader, heart and soul, into another realm.

    Listen to Stephen discuss Traitor on ABC Radio National’s special Anzac Day Breakfast show.

    Stephen Daisley receives the Prime Minister’s Award

    Stephen receives the Prime Minister’s Award, Age 8/7/11 (AAP: Alan Porritt)

    Stephen Daisley
    About the Author

    Stephen Daisley was born in 1955 and grew up in the North Island of New Zealand. He has worked on sheep and cattle stations, on oil and gas construction sites and as a truck driver, among many other jobs.

    Stephen’s first novel, Traitor, won the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and five...

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    Text publication date:
    2 May 2011
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    Praise for Stephen Daisley

    Stephen Daisley’s Traitor is one of the finest debut novels I have read. Indeed it’s

    one of the best novels I have read in recent years.

    Daisley’s prose possesses a shimmering, allusive beauty reminiscent of John McGahern. Sequences such as the stunning description of the ageing David’s journey out into a rainy morning to supervise the lambing lend the novel an almost sacred quality.

    Daisley’s Traitor is suffused with love, beauty and loneliness. The creation and development of the character of David Monroe is masterful, not least because he is a man of so few words.

    Terrific debut from NZ writer based in Australia. One soldier’s act of courageous compassion at Gallipoli sees him branded a traitor. But who betrayed whom? Exquisitely crafted and beautifully written.

    ‘This impressive work moves from the world of sheep farming in New Zealand to

    the battlefields of Gallipoli, telling a story of war, love and transformation.’

    Other editions ofTraitor
    • Traitor
      ISBN: 9781921799266
      25 September 2009
      Buy ebook
    Other Titles byStephen Daisley