Hot Little Hands contains nine funny, confronting and pitch-perfect stories about stumbling on the fringes of innocence, and the marks desire can leave. It is the debut of a striking, wry, utterly fresh new voice in Australian literature, Abigail Ulman.
Claire is good at beginnings. Mid-twenties and mid-PhD, she’s moved halfway around the world to San Francisco – where the line between adolescence and adulthood is blurry, and every night feels new. Too smart to be serious, she divides her time between her friends, her band, her ex-boyfriend, potential new boyfriends, whiskies with beer backs, and occasionally her thesis. And then, by accident, life starts to get messy.
Anya, in her fake-leather sneakers and second-hand clothes, just wants to fit in at her Melbourne school. Ramona, with her suburban family and clique of friends, is just starting to stand out. Sascha is on the brink of discovery; Elise and Jenni are well beyond it. Amelia will do absolutely anything to avoid writing her book. And Kira wants to capture the world, exactly as she sees it, with her brand-new camera.
There are tales about now – about first encounters with lasting impressions, and break-ups that last longer than the relationships; about a time when late-night text messages are considered a courtship, and the most personal secrets get casually revealed online.
Abigail Ulman was born and raised in Melbourne. She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne/VCA and was a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. Hot Little Hands is her first book.
Image: Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman