Top Shelf With Laura McPhee-Browne



For this fortnight’s instalment of Top Shelf—a Q&A series featuring smart, book-loving women that offers a peek inside their reading lives—we caught up with Laura McPhee-Browne. Laura is the author of novels Little Plum and Cherry Beach, and works as a social worker and counsellor.

If you read our best books of 2023 list last week, you will have seen Little Plum in the lineup. “The kind of book you will swallow whole in one afternoon,” wrote PRIMER’s co-founder Anna. I had a similar experience with her debut Cherry Beach – an elegant story of female friendship, love, desire, loss and ambiguity. If you appreciate quietly told novels that are not afraid to explore the dark corners of our emotional lives, then McPhee-Browne deserves a place your library. Now, to the book chat…

Little Plum is a quiet, short novel that offers a perspective of motherhood that's rarely told.

You read everything this author writes. Who is it?

My favourite author is Margaret Drabble, and I will reread her forever. She is 84 and hasn’t published a book in over 10 years, but I hope there’ll be another one. Olga Tokarczuk is another author I will always read, and she is only 61!

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