'More days than not, I drive the Channel Highway south of Hobart: kids' after-school obligations, stockfeed to collect, an Island meeting in town or an 'in conversation' to run at Fullers Bookshop. The narrow curves of the road, the insane insouciance of overtaking utes, the dazzling vistas that open towards Bruny Island have already become habitual, a matter of muscle memory. The most notable thing about Oyster Cove, which I pass between the villages of Kettering and Snug, is that the farm shop there is the best place to buy apples. It's also a mobile phone black spot. ' (Geordie Williamson : Editorial introduction)
Contents indexed selectively.
'Asked to launch Bernadette Brennan's literary portrait of Helen Garner, Maggie MacKellar rediscovers the power and humanity of one of Australia's most respected writers.'
'As a child Scott (not his real name) was eager, fast-thinking and bold. Troubles and violence at home made it hard to concentrate at school. Impulsivity made it hard to regulate relationships. As an adult, he landed in prison. Many of Scott's learning experiences were chaotic; but in others, he felt 'seen' and respected. Here, he tells his story in his own words...' (Introduction)
Author's note: After Grayson Perry
Denim. leather, tinsel, ceramic buttons, polypropylene, polyurethane' glass' Norfolk pine, nails, glue, rope, silk, taffeta, diamante beads, Swarovski crystals, paper, human carcass
'The Princes Highway begins in Sydney and terminates in Port Augusta. Or perhaps it is the other way around. In either case, it is a terminus in name only. There is no end to the highway network. In Port Augusta, it bifurcates into the Stuart Highway and the Eyre Highway between a Holden dealership and the cracked shoreline of Spencer Gulf. In Sydney, it intersects with Cleveland Street and continues as Broadway, pulsing veins of traffic toward the city centre. At no point at either end does the road ever cease. It seems our highway system has neared the infinite. Keep driving long enough from anywhere and you will eventually circle the nation and arrive back where you started.' (Introduction)
'The house wasn't always right on the lip of the cliff but, in the big storm after Dad left, a wall of sandstone sheered away and crumbled into the sea below, taking with it most of the yellow gravel driveway and the front steps. The steps left a dark hole in the verandah foundation like a gap from a missing tooth but no-one could see it except gulls hovering in the cliff's updraught. The verandah slumped its shoulders at the loss and you had to keep the peeling wooden railing firmly in your grip to peer over the edge. Down there, stone lay in segments, some in the water, some out, some already sand washing up on the beach to the south. Thick cat -o-nine- tails of giant kelp dried on top of the stone blocks. Seaweed pong mixed with powerful ocean smell, rising as solid as a wall of glass in front of the house. The grainy stickiness of salt lay everywhere. Waves pounded at the foot of the cliff, sending frissons up through house stumps, the noise such that everyone raised their voices slightly until it seemed natural to speak that way. If you stood in the house and looked out, sea filled windows as if it were rising up the glass in a flood. ' (Introduction)
'As Mum and I walk Into the exhibit. spiders are scuttling across the door. When our feet touch them. the dart away as if we are the one to be feared. Perhaps out of hope that this will be the worst it gets,. I start jumping from one end of the room to another.' (Introduction)
'Pete Hay on colonial and industrial dreaming, and the obliteration - and inevitability - of memory.'
'She was taller than me. The way she walked, I could tell she felt awkward about it. 'What rides do you like?' I asked. It was a dumb question. It made my back-pack feel heavy. ' (Introduction)
'The sand was hard and sharp and blowing up into Karl's shins, whipped cruel by the dead northerly coming in over the white-chopped sea. He increased his pace, trot-ting across the beach, juggling his bucket and tackle box and rod, heading for the boatsheds and the trail that lay between them, the one that curled through the boobialla and up to the smoky heat of his house and lounge and family. ' (Introduction)