Jenni Kauppi reviews 'The Sleepers Almanac X' edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn

Jenni Kauppi reviews 'The Sleepers Almanac X' edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn

The Sleepers Almanac X

edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn

Sleepers Publishing, $24.95 pb, 270 pp, 9780994287939

In more than ten years on the scene, Sleepers has positioned itself as both champion of the small press sector – the natural home of the short story – and a canny player in the broader publishing landscape; its Almanac has been a reliable litmus test for the direction of new Australian writing.

In this instalment, several absurdist and satirical works are stacked into the collection's middle section, including the oddball 'Space Monkeys Drink Tang' by Eric Yoshiaki Dando, and Julie Koh's surreal first-person meditation on society's (and the narrator's mother's) relentless attacks on women's bodies in 'The Fat Girl in History'. It is a risky move – their particular brand of humour won't appeal to everyone.

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Published in December 2015, no. 377

Jenni Kauppi

Jenni Kauppi is a freelance reviewer and subeditor for publications including The Age, Arts Hub, Broadsheet and Books+Publishing. She studied English Literature, Creative Writing and Editing Communications at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. She's worked as a bookseller for more than ten years, and works for one of Melbourne's oldest independent bookshops.

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