Chris Flynn reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2010' edited by Cate Kennedy and 'New Australian Stories 2' edited by Aviva Tuffield

The Best Australian Stories 2010

edited by Cate Kennedy 

Black Inc., $29.95 pb, 270 pp, 9781863954952

New Australian Stories 2

edited by Aviva Tuffield

Scribe, $29.95 pb, 346 pp, 9781921640865

A more appropriate moniker for this year’s Black Inc. collection might be ‘Bleak Australian Stories 2010’. Either the editor’s taste runs to the morose or Australian writers need to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine a little more. Reading these twenty-nine stories, one could be forgiven for believing Australia to be the most broken, miserable country on earth. Ryan O’Neill’s caustic story aside, there is not a single moment of joy or happiness to be found among this relentless selection, which includes stories of racism, rural despondency, abuse, dead babies, suffocated kittens, disabling accidents, and a universal portrayal of the family unit as utterly dysfunctional.

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Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn is the author of two novels, A Tiger in Eden (2012) and The Glass Kingdom (2014).

Published in February 2011 no. 328

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