We Are Not Most People


Format: ISBN: 978-1-925760-04-0 Trade PB 256pp Rights: World Release / Publication Date: 01 /06 /2018
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Reading group notes available for download here


‘Truly bold, honest, tender and amazingly assured.’


Kurt Stocker’s Swiss childhood is dominated by strict and god-fearing parents. He enters a seminary with the intent of becoming a priest and making his parents proud of him but struggles to adapt. Leaving this vocation behind, he marries Liesl and they eventually emigrate to Australia.

Decades later in small town Australia, Terry Riley feels drawn to convent life, despite her family’s objections. At the convent, she is haunted by a strange sickness and knows in time that she must return to a more conventional life. It is then she begins a relationship with the now divorced Kurt, who was once her high school teacher.

This is the story of an odd couple, of an older man and a younger woman in love with one another, but so damaged by their past lives that even a regular sexual relationship seems impossible. Beautiful in its frankness but disturbing in its examination of faith and human existence, this is a novel that is affectionate, haunting and ultimately unforgettable.

Tracy Ryan was born in Western Australia and grew up there as part of a large family. She has taught literature, creative writing and film at various universities in Australia and in England, and worked as a bookseller, editor and translator. She currently teaches fiction writing at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Her poetry has won many awards. Her most recent collection is Rose Interior (Giramondo 2022), and she is the author of five critically acclaimed novels. Claustrophobia, her fourth novel was published by Transit Lounge in 2014 and by Newton Compton Editori as Una vita tranquilla in 2015. It was shortlisted for the 2016 Western Australian Premier’s Awards. Tracy was the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards Fellowship winner in 2023. Tracy speaks German, French and Italian as well as English. The Queen’s Apprenticeship is the first in a series of three novels focussed on the Queens of the Navarre.