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Griffith Review 54: Earthly Delights: The Novella Project IV

Griffith Review 54: Earthly Delights: The Novella Project IV 1

by Julianne Schultz
Publication Date: 31/10/2016
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $27.99 $26.75

Griffith Review once again turns its attention to the fast-growing novella form with its annual edition dedicated to the five winning entries from our fourth novella competition.

Past editions have featured both outstanding established writers, and emerging talent, with some novellas going on to be developed into published novels. The novellas that emerge from our competition, Cate Kennedy writes, are 'short enough to consume like a single satisfying meal, long enough to linger over with coffee... (they) deliver us into worlds we don't expect and have a hard time forgetting. For sheer invention and range, the authors showcase the vitality and scope of the short form to create dynamic, visceral and memorable worlds.'

Or, as British author David Mitchell commented: 'I like the length of a novella... It's short enough to be a getaway car from the cops of boredom.'"

Literary essays
Publication Date:
The Text Publishing Company
Julianne Schultz

Julianne Schultz AM FAHA is the founding editor of Griffith Review, the award-winning literary and public affairs quarterly journal.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • excellent novellas

    by on

    4.5 stars
    “Charlie was a boy who listened and learned, observed and imitated, mastered and excelled at nearly everything he set his mind to. He was a set-and-forget sort of kid, a teenage crock-pot, an aspidistra that kept growing in a dark corner. He’d watched his son’s temperament develop. Seen how he’d become serious and smart, funny and ironic, and with this, slightly superior (without saying as much). He’d watch his will set hard, so that when he decided to win, he would win. If he decided to give he would empty his pockets, and heart, of everything. If he decided to daydream he would invent other worlds, and if he decided to love, he would walk across hot coals to share whispered thoughts”

    Griffith Review 54: Earthly Delights the Novella Project IV features a collection of five novellas by Australian authors and the initial fragment of an unfinished novel.

    Muse by Melanie Cheng is a moving tale that explores the tense relationship between a widower and his daughter, the effect that their wife/mother exerts beyond the grave, and the incident that finally brings about a reconciliation.

    A Fulcrum of Infinities by Graham Lang is a blackly funny and at the same time, a moving story about a man of mixed race who wants his final act to be a connection to his land. The slight snag in his mission is the cantankerous old man (and his equally cranky old dog) who lives on and owns that bit of land.

    Those Jalaani Boys by Daniel Jenkins is a tale of ex-pats in the Middle East which explores differences in culture, values and respect.

    The Last Taboo: a Love story by Susan McCourt in which a mother, after twenty-three years, meets the son she gave up at birth. Told in the second person, this tale of a reunion bound to have profound effects on the lives of the mother and her family, goes in quite an unexpected (and somewhat uncomfortable) direction.

    Datsunland, by Stephen Orr is a coming of age story in which a fourteen-year-old connects with his guitar teacher. It is filled with wonderful descriptive passages: “He could remember the tone of the letter, hear Charlie’s voice, see his smile, his hands moving in perpetual motion, his shoulders drooping. He could see the glow of his skin, the fine line of his eyebrows. And he could hear his half-child, half-adolescent voice breaking, conserving words like they had a dollar value – until he thought of something and sat forward, animating his hands and voice”

    The White Experiment is a fragment of the unfinished last novel by Cory Taylor. It is introduced by her Text editor, Penny Hueston. It is set in Broome in 1912, at the time when British navy-trained divers were sent to compete with Japanese divers.

    All the stories are excellent: Muse is likely to be a favourite with readers; Datsunland and The White Experiment are outstanding; just this small taste proves what a pity it is that Cory Taylor’s last novel will never be completed: “Anyone seeing the coastline at Roebuck Bay for the first time cannot help but imagine they have crossed the border at the edge of the familiar universe and entered a new, harsher solar system. The colours are the first sign that something is amiss: the boulders and hillocks all shades of red; the sea a luminous green as if electrified; the sky above so intensely blue one fears to look at it for too long in case the brain empties and takes on the hue as its dominant idea, displacing all competing thought”