Bird Bones



How many pieces of yourself could you lose or have stolen or damaged before you became someone else?

There is no Vera without Gary. Except that Gary is gone.

Vera and Gary have always been entwined. They spent endless sprawling holidays at Corny Point with Vera’s little sister, Emmeline, always in the shadows. But the umbilical cord that tethered Vera and Gary has snapped.

When Vera returns to Corny Point with her cantankerous partner, Oswald, the rubble of her childhood emerges and Vera finally sees. It wasn’t always just about Gary.

Shifting and swelling like the tide on a remote Australian beach, Michelle Jäger’s debut novel reminds us that unobliging women can be the most interesting of all.


‘Michelle Jäger’s beautiful sentences create a compelling picture of the way childhood shapes, and sometimes warps, the adults we become. Vera is a perfect creation, bright, brittle, damaged, and damaging. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of her character is the realisation that, in the right circumstances, any one of us could become Vera. Bird Bones is a mesmerising, dark enchantment of a novel, a dazzling debut from a compelling new voice in Australian literature.
Carol Lefevre, author of Murmurations

 ‘Wondrous strange, savage, and sometimes wickedly funny, Bird Bones and its protagonist, the flame-haired Vera, continue to haunt long after reading the final word. Weaving an all-too-human story of love, tragedy and trauma into a dreamlike fable, Michelle Jäger’s is an assured and powerful new voice in Australian literature.
Katherine Tamiko Arguile, author of Meshi

Michelle Jäger is an Adelaide-based writer whose work has appeared in various anthologies and journals. She won the Elle Australia 2018 short story competition, placed runner-up in the InkTears’ 2018 short story competition, and was short-listed for the Hammond House 2019 and Aesthetica 2020 short story prizes. Michelle has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide. Bird Bones is her first novel.