The authors of the stories in Breaking Beauty are graduates of the University of Adelaide, which Brian Castro (a professor there) reminds us in his introduction is ‘the first and best creative writing college in the country’. However, as an advertisement for creative writing at Adelaide University, this collection has limited success. While the contributors’ biographical notes are impressive – most have published a book, and there are winners of major national awards – the quality of the stories is uneven. J.M. Coetzee’s testimonial points to this with his focus on ‘the best of the writers in this collection [who] take us outside our comfortable selves’. Indeed, some of the best – like Stefan Laszczuk’s ‘The Window Winder’ with its image of decapitated heads kissing, Sean Williams’s ‘The Beholders’ as a clever Twilight Zone-esque tale of aesthetics, and Katherine Arguile’s beautiful ‘Wabi Sabi’ with its magical realist components – are masterful explorations of the uncanny.
edited by Lynette Washington
MidnightSun Publishing $24.99 pb, 228 pp, 9781925 227000
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.
Cassandra Atherton is a poet and scholar. She is a Harvard Visiting Fellow in English in 2015-2016.
By this contributor
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 email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.