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Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney. Her most recent book of essays, The World Was Whole, was published in October 2018. Fiona worked as an editor at Giramondo Publishing for five years. She holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from Western Sydney University, and is the host of Six Degrees From the City, a podcast about writers and Western Sydney.

Fiona Wright reviews 'Love Objects' by Emily Maguire

May 2021, no. 431 26 April 2021
At the core of Love Objects, Emily Maguire’s sixth novel, is a delicate exploration of the responsibility that comes with love and what it means to care for others in both the emotional and practical senses of the word. The book’s protagonist, Nic, is a caustic but kind-hearted woman, positioned, in many ways, so as to be overlooked by the world. Middle-aged, childless, and living alone in her ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'The Fogging' by Luke Horton

August 2020, no. 423 24 July 2020
Luke Horton’s novel The Fogging opens with a panic attack. Tom, the book’s protagonist, begins to tremble and sweat when the flight he is on – from Melbourne to Denpasar – hits turbulence. Tom is travelling with his long-term girlfriend, Clara, on a holiday they have organised more out of duty than from any real desire for travel, having booked their flights to use up his mother’s Freque ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'The Breeding Season' by Amanda Niehaus

October 2019, no. 415 25 September 2019
The Breeding Season is a novel that grapples with big ideas: the connections between death; grief, mortality and the bodily experience of them; how the male gaze preconditions how women (and female animals) are portrayed and described in science and art. It is an ambitious book, and the ideas that drive it are one of its main pleasures, even if they sometimes overburden the narrative. Niehaus’s ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'Bohemia Beach' by Justine Ettler

June-July 2018, no. 402 24 May 2018
Bohemia Beach is a highly anticipated novel – the first work by Justine Ettler in twenty years. In many ways, it is a continuation of her oeuvre: a fast-paced, almost madcap tale about a wildly careening woman and the violent men she is drawn to, with obsession and addiction driving much of the narrative and narration. The novel is set largely in the Czech Republic in 2002, when the country was ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'Drawing Sybylla' by Odette Kelada

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
Drawing Sybylla is a wonderfully unusual book, narrated in parts by a modern-day Sybil – one of those ‘mad mouthpieces’ of prophesy and poetry from Ancient Greece. This Sybil springs to life from an elaborate doodle in a notebook, drawn by a Sydney Writers’ Festival panelist who is listening to another writer on her panel. This writer is describing to the audience a feminist short story fr ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'Common People' by Tony Birch

September 2017, no. 394 24 August 2017
The characters who populate Tony Birch’s Common People are striking not so much because they are the ordinary people, the commonplace or everyday people that the title would suggest – they are, mostly, people living in or with extremity and trauma – but because the thing that unites them in these stories are discoveries of small moments of common humanity. Some of these are exchanges, or gif ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'From the Wreck' by Jane Rawson

April 2017, no. 390 30 March 2017
From the Wreck is a deeply ecological novel. It isn’t quite cli-fi – that new genre of fiction concerned with dramatising the effects of our changing climate on people and the world – rather, it is underpinned by an awareness of the connectedness of creatures: animal, human, and otherworldly alike, and narrated in parts by a creature who has fled another planet, ruined by invaders who ‘bui ... (read more)

Fiona Wright reviews 'The Science of Appearances' by Jacinta Halloran

November 2016, no. 386 24 October 2016
‘Twins,’ Jacinta Halloran writes, have ‘a special place in worlds both mythical and real’. This line, in the beautifully poetic prologue of The Science of Appearances, is a small but salient foreshadowing for fraternal twins Mary and Dominic Quinn. Both of them struggle across their lives to find their own special place in the world, and make sense of the myths of family, inheritance and b ... (read more)
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