Carmel Bird reviews 'Collected Stories' by Thea Astley

by
December 1997–January 1998, no. 197

Carmel Bird reviews 'Collected Stories' by Thea Astley

by
December 1997–January 1998, no. 197

One of the principal characters in much of Thea Astley’s writing is Queensland. ‘An intransigent fecundity dominated two shacks which were cringing beneath banana clumps, passion-vines, granadillas.’

There’s a lot of sad poetry about the place; and the distances that separate us, I mean the physical distances, are like verse-breaks in a ballad; and once, once we believed the ballad might never end but go on accumulating its chapters of epic while the refrain, the almost unwordable quality that mortises us together, retained its singular soul. How express the tears of search?

Carmel Bird reviews 'Collected Stories' by Thea Astley

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