‘Death has a dual character,’ Zadie Smith writes in her novel The Autograph Man (2002); ‘it seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time’. Popular culture is currently awash with cookery programs and diet fads, yet the lives of animals, and the industries that deal in their deaths, have never been more absent from city life. It seems reasonable, therefore, that all ten stories shortlisted for the Voiceless Writing Prize – judged by J.M. Coetzee, Ondine Sherman, Wendy Were, and Susan Wyndham – animate the lives of animals in, or on the fringes of, rural Australia.
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