What an absolute joy to read samples of stories from some of the best current writers in New Australian Fiction 2019 published by Kill Your Darlings (2019). This brilliant selection is an outstanding collection of the creativity of our writers in the world of fiction, introduced by Editor Rebecca Starford who talks about the range of emotions and subjects featured (‘cruelty to romance, death to humour, pathos to madness, love to betrayal to rejection to light and new life’).
As with all collections, some stories will appeal more to some readers than others. My personal favourites (in no particular order) are: A Still Thing Shaken by Jack Kirne (‘This is the howl of a still thing shaken’); the always weird and wonderful Julie Koh with Workers of All Lands Unite; the unsettling and rather creepy tale of A Trick of the Light by Andrea Gillum; the brilliant craft of Tony Birch with his short story Flight, which explores the shifting boundaries of relationships between the young and the old; This Version of Her by Allee Richards; and the extraordinary exploration of motherhood, hope and grief with a touch of magical realism in Laura Elvery’s story Something Close to Gold (‘Everything looked different now that we were frightened.’) The other contributors – all with an amazing variety of stories and styles – include Zoe Bradley, Mikaella Clements, Craig Cormick, Anne Hotta, Joshua Kemp, Wayne Marshall, Chloe Michele, A.S. Patric, Melanie Seward, Gretchen Shirm, Khalid Warsame and Laura Elizabeth Woollett. This is the perfect holiday read – a sample of everything and everyone – or would make a great gift for someone interested in what’s happening in the current world of the best of Aussie fiction.