Griffith Review 34: The Annual Fiction Edition
Julianne Schultz (ed.), Text Publishing, $27.99
The previous two annual fiction editions from Griffith Review were really great. This one’s less zesty. It features new and emerging Australian writers alongside a couple of established ones (Chris Womersley and Melissa Lucashenko).
A standout story for me was “Tryst” by Rachel S. Morgan, which won the 2011 Josephine Ulrick Prize. It charts the emotions of a pre-pubescent girl fresh-minted fromEnglandtoAustralia.
The dizzyingly hot nights where her parents get sloshed (and more!) by the pool with the neighbours mean she’s growing up fast. Hiding beneath a bed, with a 14-year-old boy, she encounters a vexing scene.
“The New Capital” by Xavier Hennekinne is more gently paced and tells the story of a husband and wife visitingJapan. The art, the tea, the literature and the memories of things past combine to bring us close to the narrator, who is growing older.
He’s noticing that certain things have shifted within his lifetime but others may not change again before he dies. The story is nostalgic without being soppy.
I also really appreciated the “Girt by Water” paintings by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori. Swatches of hot pink, ice blue, cyan, white, black, red and orange vividly evoke Thundi onBentinckIsland(her father’s country).
Along with fiction and paintings Griffith Review 34 contains four poems and three memoirs. I am wondering if the collection was devised to drive more people online to griffithreview.com.
I’m off there now to read “The Dog of Fiction and the Wolf of Memory” by Miriam Zolan and “Masks of Fiction”. I’m very glad Griffith Review (print and web version) exists!
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