Erin Gough gifts readers a social justice adventure with heart and humor in equal measure. Teacher’s pet Harriet Price and anti-establishment artist Will Everhart team up to create the fictional Amelia Westlake, a high school hoax who speaks truth to power. In a time where hope can feel in short supply, it’s a breath of fresh air to get a tale that examines privilege and how to foment meaningful change without ever losing sight of its own charms.
Amelia Westlake has won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Erin Gough has […] created a fiercely funny narrative that sits well in the contemporary young adult niche, raising issues of feminist intersectionality, queerness and racism, shedding timely commentary on the #MeToo movement. While the novel explores gender politics and the mechanics of power, at its heart it works well as an uplifting romance novel that is delightful to read.
One of the many strengths of this novel is the dialogue which is taut, sassy and authentic. Gough creates three-dimensional characters who are flawed, yet full of heart. Amelia Westlake goes further, encouraging dialogue and camaraderie, reiterating the importance of creating inclusive, affirming environments. While the setting is an elite Australian private school, this should serve a global readership well exploring universal issues with flair, humour and intelligence.
Ultimately, much-applauded author Erin Gough has once again created a fresh, intelligent and edgy narrative that resonates well with her readers. Erin Gough continues to be an important voice in Australian YA fiction. This is a smart and very readable rom-com… and so much more!
Gough deftly navigates the delicate space where comedy meets drama. Her two spirited protagonists, the naively generous Harriet, and the cynical, completely ‘woke’ Will, forge a bond as they concoct a series of pranks that challenge privilege, power, and pretence. Their subsequent developing attraction is organic and authentic.
Amelia Westlake is an exceptional novel that portrays flawed and layered queer teenagers stumbling towards self-awareness and a blossoming relationship in an authentic and refreshing way. The writing is delightfully sharp, with a distinctive voice and personality that shines through on every page. The novel manages to be both weighty and thoughtful, while remaining humorous, heartfelt and hopeful.
Erin Gough has…created a fiercely funny narrative that sits well in the contemporary young adult niche, raising issues of feminist intersectionality, queerness and racism, shedding timely commentary on the #MeToo movement. While the novel explores gender politics and the mechanics of power, at its heart it works well as an uplifting romance novel that is delightful to read.
One of the many strengths of this novel is the dialogue which is taut, sassy and authentic. Gough creates three-dimensional characters who are flawed, yet full of heart.
Amelia Westlake follows the story of Harriet Price (rule-abiding prefect) and Will Everhart (rule-breaking slacker). The two girls strike up an unlikely friendship when they decide to publish a controversial cartoon about a sexist teacher in the school newspaper under the pseudonym Amelia Westlake – an act that leads to further rebellion, and a romantic spark between Harriet and Will. Part queer rom-com, part feminist heist, Amelia Westlakeis a joy to read.
Erin Gough’s new queer feminist YA novel, Amelia Westlake (Hardie Grant Egmont), has sold into the US to Little, Brown imprint Poppy.
United Talent Agency film agent Mary Pender has also signed on to represent film rights for the title ahead of its publication in the US.
‘It’s no wonder we’ve had such an immediate and excitable response to Erin’s second novel, with multiple rights deals underway after Bologna,’ said Hardie Grant Egmont publisher Marisa Pintado. ‘Amelia Westlake is highly political, bitingly funny, and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, deeply relevant and empowering; as one of the only authors writing queer, own-voice YA in Australia, Erin is a force to be reckoned with.’
‘After her Ampersand Prize-winning debut The Flywheel, Erin Gough’s second novel has been eagerly anticipated. Amelia Westlake has been worth the wait. This is a brilliant social satire with a feminist vibe and two strong main characters whose voices alternate telling the story … Gough has created a clever, engaging feminist romp for readers aged 12 and up that is utterly unputdownable.’ Angela Crocombe, Australian Books and Publishing
Coming in April 2018 from Ampersand Prize-winning author, Erin Gough, Amelia Westlake is a ferociously funny romantic comedy about power, politics and an epic private-school hoax that brings two very different girls together.
Harriet Price is the perfect Rosemead Grammar student, and Will Everhart is a social-justice warrior with a chip on her shoulder. When a worrying incident with their swimming coach goes unnoticed, the unlikely duo embark on a grand feminist hoax to expose him.
Dazzling and triumphant, Amelia Westlake is the second novel from the award-winning author of The Flywheel, and a timely call to arms for every young woman who’s been faced with inappropriate comments or harassment from an authority figure.
What’s the deal with diversity? It’s a hot topic in YA literature, but why is it important? Journalist and author Sarah Ayoub is joined by writers Randa Abdel-Fatteh, Erin Gough and Will Kostakis to discuss why portrayals of Australian teenagers in books should be real rather than random. How can writers use more than just culture to create characters we can relate to? Find out what roles family, class, gender and sexuality can play in the books we read.