The latest Sleepers Almanac opens with a surreal encounter between a suave cane toad, presented as an amphibian Jiminy Cricket, and the guilt-wracked mother of a drug addict (‘Happy Monday’), and ends with the elaborate imaginings of a woman trying to distract herself from the reason why she is sitting in a hospital waiting room (‘How to Talk to a Fire Extinguisher’). Other themes echoing through the anthology include infidelity, sibling rivalry, mental illness, bullying, child abuse, ageing, death, and the complex nature of love. So far, so grim. Fortunately, there is a playful warmth to the Almanac that belies the gravity of its subject matter without lessening its impact.
Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Sleepers Almanac No. 8' edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn
The Sleepers Almanac No. 8
edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn
Sleepers Publishing, $24.95 pb, 365 pp, 9781742705484
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Amy Baillieu is Deputy Editor of ABR. She holds a Masters of Publishing and Communications from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts from the same university with majors in English Literature and French. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where she completed a Cours de Langue et Civilisation Français in 2007.
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