Fiona Wright reviews 'From the Wreck' by Jane Rawson

Fiona Wright reviews 'From the Wreck' by Jane Rawson

From the Wreck

by Jane Rawson

Transit Lounge $29.95 pb, 267 pp, 9780995359451

From the Wreck is a deeply ecological novel. It isn’t quite cli-fi – that new genre of fiction concerned with dramatising the effects of our changing climate on people and the world – rather, it is underpinned by an awareness of the connectedness of creatures: animal, human, and otherworldly alike, and narrated in parts by a creature who has fled another planet, ruined by invaders who ‘built machines, giant, and chemical plants’ and poisoned the oceanic habitat of this character and her kind.

The main protagonist is human: George Hills, a ship’s steward who survives the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast. This much is drawn from history – Rawson is a descendant of Hills, who survived the 1859 shipwreck – but what saves George in this novel is the intervention of Bridget Ledwith, a strange, tentacled, shape-shifting creature who has assumed the form of a female passenger on the ship.

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Published in April 2017, no. 390
Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney. Her poetry collection, Knuckled, won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance was published by Giramondo in 2015. Her latest book is Domestic Interior (Giramondo, 2017). She has recently completed a PhD at Western Sydney University’s Writing & Society Research Centre.

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