It is comparatively rare for a new writer to bring out his first two collections in the one year, and even more rare that one should be a collection of verse and the other of short stories. Yet this is exactly what Peter Goldsworthy has done. His name will be unfamiliar to many, but those who regularly read literary magazines will have come across his stories and poems before and he will undoubtedly be heard of again.
There are nineteen stories in Archipelagoes, two of which have been competition winners. ‘Memoirs of a small “m” marxist’ was joint winner of the 1979 Western Australian Sesquicentenary Literary Competition and ‘Before the Day Goes’ won the 1980 Premio Bancarella Literary Award from the Italian Festival of Victoria. These, and the other stories in the collection, are marked by the cool objectivity of the writing and the neat last paragraph sums up the point to which the story has been driving.