Set in Sydney’s working-class western suburbs, No More Boats tells of a family whose lives collide with a refugee crisis known as the Tampa Affair, when over 400 hundred refugees were left stranded fifteen miles off the Australian coast. The story revolves around Antonio, an Italian immigrant, his wife Rose, with a rich back story of her own, and their two children, Nico and Claire, each, in their own way, drifting. When a work-related accident kills his best friend and forces him into early retirement, the familiar scaffolding of work, family and the immigrant’s dream of betterment, are removed from his life. Antonio’s mind begins to fragment. Manipulated by the media and made vulnerable by his feeling of irrelevance, Antonio commits an act that makes him a lightning rod for the factions that are bitterly at odds over the “immigrant question.”
No More Boats is an unbiased, moving story about the world we live in, the families we come from, the raw impulses that we attempt to conceal.
Felicity Castagna won the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for YA Fiction for her previous novel, The Incredible Here and Now, shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and adapted for the stage by the National Theatre of Parramatta. Her collection of short stories, Small Indiscretions, was named an Australian Book Review Book of the Year. Castagna’s work has appeared on radio and television, and she runs the storytelling series Studio Stories.