Westerly, vol. 59, no. 1

Voices of the dispossessed appropriate the narratives in the current issue of Westerly. The fiction in this issue is the strongest section, largely due to the originality and diversity of the writing. M.T. O’Byrne’s magic-realist short story, ‘The Day Before Christmas Island’, introduces the voice of the refugee. Reminiscent of Life of Pi (2001), the narrator and Thommo ‘pull a boy from the sea’, only to find that his siblings, at the end of a long fishing line, appear in the form of a shark and a whale and want to board their boat. Zdravka Evtimova’s ‘Happiness is a Simple Thing’ presents the retribution of the Oshav men who want ‘blood for blood’, while Shokoofeh Azar’s ‘The Woman Who Went to Stand There’ – translated from Persian – is the devastating story of a woman who waits a lifetime at the Somayyeh intersection to elope with her lover. Like Miss Havisham, her demise is charted in her decaying appearance. Finally, Mark O’Flynn’s ‘Turning the Other Cheek’ is a standout for its almost Nabokovian unreliable narration of a father who terrorises his murdering son.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in September 2014 no. 364

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.