Anna MacDonald reviews 'Her' by Garry Disher

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Her' by Garry Disher

Her

by Garry Disher

Hachette, $29.99 pb, 220 pp, 9780733638541

In this dark historical novel, Garry Disher imagines a world in which small girls are sold by their desperate families and enslaved to men such as the brutal ‘scrap man’ – ‘a schemer, a plotter, a trickster’ in whom ‘nothing ... rang true except rage and self-pity’ and who profits from the labour of womenfolk known as Wife, Big Girl, You, and Sister. Neither the scrap man, nor the women shackled to him, are named because ‘names had no currency in the scrap man’s family’ until, in an act of defiance, You secretly christens herself Lily.

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Anna MacDonald

Anna MacDonald

Anna MacDonald writes about spatial poetics and the topographical imagination. She has published numerous essays on W.G. Sebald, Gaston Bachelard, and contemporary artists including Susan Norrie, Cindy Sherman, and Jenny Holzer. Her short stories have appeared in international anthologies and she is currently writing a novel. Anna is a Research Associate at Monash University and bookseller at Melbourne's Paperback Bookshop.