Winner of the Stella Prize 2012 (best book published by an Australian woman in 2012) On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him. Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed. Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be. Carrie Tiffany has been shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award for 'Before He Left the Family'. Find out more here .