Stepping Out: A novel
Giramondo, $27.99 pb, 216 pp
Faced with the publication of her first novel, the narrator of Stepping Out has a terrifying thought. ‘I was about to be unmasked,’ she realises. ‘End of my double life. Everyone was about to dip into my world and find out what was really cooking there ... I felt like I’d placed a bomb and was waiting, under cover, for it to explode.’
In this unabashedly autobiographical novel, Catherine Rey overcomes this feeling and writes with the unflinching bluntness of a veteran author. Part manifesto, part celebration of survival, part cautionary tale, Stepping Out describes the narrator’s life from the ages of eighteen to fifty. It recounts her battles with her family, her determination to write, and her journey from 1970s France to contemporary Australia.