Chris Womersley was born in Melbourne in 1968, where he lived for many years. He trained as a radio journalist, but spent his twenties far less profitably - travelling aimlessly around the world, and washing an awful lot of dishes, earning the highly coveted International Kitchenhand of the Year award three years in a row. His travels included stints in India, South-East Asia, South America, North America, and West Africa. He currently works at Fairfax online in Sydney as a sub-editor. Chris has been writing for most of his life, starting his career with a 'Star Wars' sequel - fortunately unpublished and long since lost - in the late 1970s. He studied creative writing at Melbourne's RMIT. His short story 'The Shed' was published in Granta New Writing 14 and reprinted in Best Australian Stories 2006. The Low Road is his first novel and was shortlisted for the 2006 Victorian Premier's Award.
A young petty criminal, Lee, wakes in a seedy motel with a bullet in his side and a suitcase of stolen money, his memory hazy as to how he got there. Soon he meets Wild, a doctor who is escaping his own disastrous life, and the two men set out for the safety of the countryside.
As they flee the city, they develop an uneasy intimacy, inevitably revisiting their pasts even as they desperately seek to evade them. But Lee and Wilde are not alone: they are pursued through an increasingly alien and gothic landscape by the ageing gangster Josef, who must retrieve the stolen money and deal with Lee to ensure his own survival. Ultimately, all three men are forced to confront the parts of themselves they sought to outrun.
Part dark thriller, part modern tale of alienation and despair, The Low Road seduces the reader into a story that unfolds and deepens hypnotically. This is a brilliant debut novel.