“I wish I had a more reliable way of figuring out how to write. It’s all just intuition and waking dreams.” – Robbie Arnott
Posts tagged "nature"
Light in a world of darkness

Light in a world of darkness

In 2013, Icelanders voted for the most beautiful word in their language. They chose a nine-letter one, the job title of a healthcare worker, the Icelandic term for midwife: ljósmóðir. In its reasoning, the jury stated that the word was a composite of the two most beautiful words: móðir, meaning mother, and ljós which means light.  Although I had two...
Robbie Arnott: Untamed nature

Robbie Arnott: Untamed nature

In the heat of a Tasmanian summer, with the world at war and his brothers away on secretive missions in the Pacific, 15-year-old Ned West traps, shoots and skins rabbits to sell their pelts in the hope of saving to buy a small boat. As his father and older sister struggle to keep the riverside...
Communicating evolutions

Communicating evolutions

Audrey Schulman’s The Dolphin House is an engrossing fictionalised account of a singular episode in modern science. In the mid-1960s, a NASA-funded project led by neuroscientist Dr John Lilly saw naturalist Margaret Howe live in confinement with a dolphin named Peter in a flooded house on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, to investigate...
Into the lagoon

Into the lagoon

As soon as her head was under the surface, the dolphins’ noises filled her. Sound, bright as light, hard as touch. Ping-pong balls bouncing down metal stairs. Dolphins are constant vocal innovators, playful geniuses with unspeakable power, the Maria Callases of the sea, their sounds unworldly and pure. A gospel group on helium, hitting the...
Ned Beauman: Intelligent life

Ned Beauman: Intelligent life

Ned Beauman’s Venomous Lumpsucker is a dazzling satire of a near-future Europe in which global warming-led species decline has become accepted as an unfortunate by-product of economic growth. A system of ‘extinction credits’ means that any company set to gain financially from operations that happen to wipe out an endangered species simply has to purchase...
Caryl Lewis: Storms and wonders and cultures on the edge

Caryl Lewis: Storms and wonders and cultures on the edge

Sister and brother Nefyn and Joseph, both in their mid-twenties, have lived alone in an isolated cottage on a clifftop on the coast of West Wales for a decade since their fisherman father was lost in a sea storm. Nefyn has a close affinity to the workings of the tides, and over time has built...
Elif Shafak: Time to reconnect

Elif Shafak: Time to reconnect

Elif Shafak’s richly evocative, elegantly crafted novel The Island of Missing Trees transports readers between 1970s Cyprus and 21st–century London in a cross-generational saga of passion, trauma, memory and renewal. Greek Cypriot Kostas and Turkish Cypriot Defne fall in love as teenagers in the divided city of Nicosia in 1974, meeting undercover in the back...
Grief and transformation

Grief and transformation

My debut novel This Shining Life is a meditation on grief. It follows a family on their journey through bereavement after the death of Rich, a beloved father, son, husband and friend. When I first invented his character I saw him in a garden at dawn with the sky pale and peachy behind him. He...
Rich

Rich

He woke up at dawn and shuffled to the edge of the bed. Ruth did not stir. She always slept deeply at this time, when there was a chill in the air and the sky was dusky over the river. Rich, though, was at his most wakeful. He rummaged in the heap of clothes on...
Alone at last: The secret of Marian Engel's Bear

Alone at last: The secret of Marian Engel’s Bear

A woman is sent to an island for a summer. The island holds little more than a house, although admittedly a big one for this remote territory, and strangely shaped too, with eight sides and no real corners, two levels, many windows – ridiculous anywhere but especially here, where you need a fire most of...
Véronique Tadjo: Listen to the trees

Véronique Tadjo: Listen to the trees

French-Ivorian writer, academic and artist Véronique Tadjo’s spellbinding novel In the Company of Men draws on personal testimonies from medical workers and those affected by the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as oral traditions of storytelling, to create an urgent modern fable about the strength and fragility of life on...
from A God at the Door

from A God at the Door

Tishani Doshi’s latest poetry collection A God at the Door spans time and space, drawing on the minutiae of nature and humanity to elevate the marginalised. Taken together, playfully eclectic in form and metre, the poems traverse history, from the cosmic to the quotidian, taking inspiration from the world at large to bestow power on...