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When Zoe Norton Lodge was growing up in Annandale in the eighties and nineties, the self-proclaimed Heartland of the Inner West was a heady brew of somewhat maladjusted and genuinely unsettling residents. But Annandale was changing. New words like 'architect' and 'labradoodle' drifted out of the overabundance of cafes - and eventually entire weeks would go by with no backyard bomb explosions. These stories of neighbourhood warfare, unsound relations, quashed dreams and facial disfigurement are told with Norton Lodge's characteristic comic verve and eye for absurdity: encounter Greek grandparents whose decades-long resentment turns a colander into a weapon; a petrol-sodden Mamma; children sent to school with cat-food sandwiches; 'distressed' furniture; flying babies and other suburban wonders. Zoe Norton Lodge is also a writer and presenter on The Checkout and The Chaser's Media Circus (ABC1), creator of the hit sellout live event-cum-highly obscure TV show Story Club (ABC2) and has had her work published in Best Australian Stories. Reading group notes available here.