An old woman, caught between the present and her troubled past in another hemisphere, picks herself out of a puddle of water: ‘Her head is tender, and the left side of her body still feels strange: as if she has lost half of herself. Nevertheless, she understands things again.’ The characters in Maria Takolander’s collection of short stories, The Double, often seem as if they have mislaid parts of themselves – their sense of groundedness, their belief systems, their personal histories – but they push on, not always to positive effect.
The Double: (and Other Stories)
by Maria Takolander
Text Publishing, $29.99 pb, 257 pp, 9781922079763
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Patrick Allington was the recipient of the inaugural ABR Patrons’ Fellowship, worth $5000. His novel, Figurehead (Black Inc. 2009), was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His short fiction and book criticism appears in Australian newspapers, magazines, and journals, including regularly in ABR.
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