The Singing is the inaugural publication in the Varuna Firsts series, a collaboration between the Varuna Writers’ House and Brandl & Schlesinger. Both should be applauded for bringing a distinctive new voice into Australian writing; not to mention the honour due to the prodigious talent of Stephanie Bishop herself. Bishop has written a haunting novel with a seemingly simple story: love gone awry. A woman runs into an ex-lover on the street (neither protagonist is named), and this meeting throws her back into the story of their past. The two narratives – her solitary life now and the tale, mainly, of the relationship’s end – run in parallel. The novel’s energy, however, is ruminative rather than linear, circling around the nature of their love, pressing at the bruises left by its collapse.
Sarah Kanowski is a writer, editor, and broadcaster. She is the new editor of Island magazine, the literary quarterly based in Tasmania and addressed to readers and writers across the world. Sarah has worked extensively at ABC Radio National, primarily on the Late Night Live, Saturday Extra, and Encounter programs. She holds a Masters of Philosophy in English Studies from Oxford University. Having begun life as a Queenslander, with time spent in Latin America, she wonders how much further south fate will carry her.
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