Scribner, 2023

Six teenagers. An empty shopping centre. No Wi-Fi. And … a baby? In Royals, her new novel for young people, acclaimed author Tegan Bennett Daylight finds out what really happens when there are no adults in the room. With no phones and no internet, Shannon and her new friend group are completely disconnected from the outside world… and their online lives. It’s hard to say whether they’ll be driven to delinquency, or – even worse – forced to make friends irl. Will the limitless bubble tea, Maccas and high-end trainers be enough to keep the six teens satisfied until they can find a way out, or is this the start of something much more sinister?
Royals upends Lord of the Flies and in a suspenseful, character-driven and enthralling story, reveals that surviving in isolation just might bring us closer together.

‘Full of vivid characters, intrigue and genuine warmth … I was hooked from the beginning.’ Alice Pung, author of One Hundred Days

‘A glorious fever dream of a novel.’ Erin Gough, author of Amelia Westlake

‘If Stephen King did The Breakfast Club it might turn out a bit like Royals.’ Kate Emery, author of The Not So Chosen One

The Details

Scribner, 2020

Shortlisted for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

A book about the connections we form with literature and each other

Tegan Bennett Daylight has led a life in books – as a writer, a teacher and a critic, but first and foremost as a reader.

In this deeply insightful and intimate work, Daylight describes how her reading has nourished her life, and how life has informed her reading. In both, she shows us that it’s the small points of connection – the details – that really matter: what we notice when someone close to us dies, when we give birth, when we make friends. In life’s disasters and delights, the details are what we can share and compare and carry with us.

Daylight writes with invigorating candour and compassion about her mother’s last days; her own experiences of childbearing and its aftermath (in her celebrated essay ‘Vagina’); her long admiration of Helen Garner and George Saunders; and her great loves and friendships. Each chapter is a revelation, and a celebration of how books offer not an escape from ‘real life’ but a richer engagement with the business of living.

The result is a work that will truly deepen your relationship with books, and with other readers. The delight is in the details.

‘A superb writer… If you love reading, you’ll cherish this book for showing you why.’ Charlotte Wood, author of The Weekend and The Natural Way of Things

‘An intimate and wise celebration of the joy and solace we find in books.’ Books & Publishing

‘If you care about reading and writing, past, present and future, read this book.’ Stephen Romei, The Weekend Australian

The Details is a joyful and vital adventure alongside a sophisticated reader, and a timely reminder of the critical role of art in turbulent times.’ Justine Hyde, The Saturday Paper

‘A testament to the enriching power of reading.’ Thuy On, Sydney Morning Herald

‘An immersive and thought-provoking read, ideal for any bibliophile.’ The Monthly

Six Bedrooms

Penguin/Random House, 2015

Shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize, the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal and the Steele Rudd Award.

Six Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Full of glorious angst, embarrassment and small achievements.

Hot afternoons on school ovals, the terrifying promise of losing your virginity, sneaking booze from your mother’s pantry, the painful sophistication and squalor of your first share house, cancer, losing a parent.

Tegan Bennett Daylight’s powerful collection captures the dangerous, tilting terrain of becoming adult. Over these ten stories, we find acute portrayals of loss and risk, of sexual longing and wreckage, blunders and betrayals. Threaded through the collection is the experience of troubled, destructive Tasha, whose life unravels in unexpected ways, and who we come to love for her defiance, her wit and her vulnerability.

Stunningly written, and shot through with humour and menace, Six Bedrooms is a mesmerising collection of moments from adolescence through adulthood, a mix of all the potent ingredients that make up a life.

‘One of Daylight’s signal achievements is her unerring judgment of how long a story needs to be, a matter of weighting its parts, controlling its moment, being able to conclude with a satisfying tantalisation without resort to trickery. There are endings, of course – deaths, ruptures, departures – but they do not foreclose other possibilities latent in the stories. This is the plain, striking last sentence of J’aime Rose: “This would be the last time, I said to myself, but it was not.”

Six Bedrooms, however long we have had to wait for it, shows Daylight to be one of the most morally astute, technically adroit, anti-formulaic and unsentimental practitioners of the short story craft in Australia. Here are stories that might make us think abroad as well – even as far as Alice Munro.’ Peter Pierce, Sydney Morning Herald.