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In these 13 short stories, Georgia Blain examines human nature in all its richness: our motivations, our desires, and our shortcomings. The men in these tales frequently linger at the edges—their longings and failures exerting a subterranean pull on the women in their lives. In the title story, a woman revisits her hometown and learns a long-held secret about her first boyfriend. In “The Bad Dog Park,” a man’s devotion to his dog ultimately forces him to confront his true hopes and fears. And in “The Other Side of the River,” we watch as a woman makes a snap decision about her life’s future direction, with devastating consequences for her family. Written in Blain’s trademark unadorned yet powerful prose, these stories resonate long after they are finished. The Secret Lives of Men is an exceptional collection by one of Australia’s leading writers.

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