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y separately published work icon This Water : Five Tales selected work   short story   novella  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 This Water : Five Tales
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This is likely to be the last work by Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing, in her exploration of feminine concerns, and her use of different literary forms – novel, short story, poetry, essay, journal, myth and fairy tale.

'This Water is a collection of five tales, three of them novella length, each a fragmentary love story with a nameless woman at the centre, and a mythic dimension (Greek or Celtic, folklore or fable) rooted in the power of nature. Water and stone, ice and fire, light and darkness play an important role in all the stories, as do other motifs, closely related to women’s experience, blood, birth, possession and release, marriage and singularity. One tale, set on the south coast of Victoria, is animated by the legend of the Great Silkie, following Sylvia Plath and Joan Baez; another finds its rebellious princess in Lake Annaghmakerrig in Ireland; a third has Clytemnestra as its central figure, mourning the daughter sacrificed by her husband Agamemnon so that he can go to war with Troy. The stories contain and reflect and shadow one other: in each the women speak, act, think for themselves, in opposing or escaping from situations ordained by authority.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • For my granddaughter

    Mia Sophia Talihmanidou

    and for my travelling companion

    Penny Hunter

  • Other formats: Also large print.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 4134709137899951737.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 276p.
      Note/s:
      • Published June 2016
      ISBN: 9781925336313

Works about this Work

Beverley Farmer 1941-2018 Archetypes and Fluency in This Water : Five Tales Lyn Jacobs , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 3 no. 18 2018;

'It is not unusual to encounter feminist re-readings of traditional stories, in the manner of speaking back via parodic challenges to gender stereotypes, but it is rare to find a writer re-dressing the skeletal bones of narrative to offer nuanced and sensual texts which subvert but also re-animate tales. And that is what is achieved in Beverley Farmer’s This Water:Five Tales (2017). After the contemplative essays of The Bone House (2005), with their stark black and white imagery and emphasis on dormancy and stone, Farmer returns to fiction where inherited stories are re-shaped to challenge the confines of precedent. This new publication includes a first-person story that illustrates the formative effects of word and image, reinterpretations of two Celtic tales, one Greek legend and a macabre European fairy-tale. Each story is discrete but they all reconsider masculist perceptions of women through the ages. This paper considers the re-framing and interrogation of the gendered designs of oral and folkloric traditions in This Water: Five Tales, focussing on ‘water’as a unifying theme and the fluency of Farmer’s poetic prose.'  (Publication abstract)

Elemental Mysteries : This Water : Five Tales by Beverley Farmer Susan Lever , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , June 2017;

'When she began publishing fiction in the 1980s, Beverley Farmer was part of a rising generation of women writers adding their voices to the record of Australian life. She was seen as a woman of modern multicultural Australia who had married one of the new Greek immigrants and experienced the contrast of cultures between Old Europe and modern Australia.' (Introduction)

Myths of Womanhood Reclaimed 2017 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25 November 2017; (p. 20)

— Review of This Water : Five Tales Beverley Farmer , 2017 selected work short story novella

'In some circles, Beverley Farmer is a grand dame of Australian letters. Those who love her cherish her molten narratives, her liquid prose. In her long career she has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, won a NSW Premier’s Award, wrote a collection of essays, three collections of short fiction and three novels, but she remains largely unknown by the mainstream reading public.' (Introduction)

Beverley Farmer : This Water: Five Tales JR , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 10-16 June 2017;
'The sad news that This Water: Five Tales will be Australian writer Beverley Farmer’s last work of fiction is announced in the first line on the back cover of the book. So it is hard not to read this collection of stories as a kind of testament or intimate reflection on the transience of life and the frailty of human powers.' (Introduction)
'This Water : Five Tales' by Beverley Farmer Anna MacDonald , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 392 2017;
'There is a distinct poignancy attached to last things, a sense in which they encapsulate all that has gone before at the same time as they anticipate an end. In the moment of their first manifestation, last things are already haunted by their own absence. This Water: Five tales is the first book by Beverley Farmer to be published since 2005, and has been announced as her last work.' (Introduction)
Myths of Womanhood Reclaimed 2017 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25 November 2017; (p. 20)

— Review of This Water : Five Tales Beverley Farmer , 2017 selected work short story novella

'In some circles, Beverley Farmer is a grand dame of Australian letters. Those who love her cherish her molten narratives, her liquid prose. In her long career she has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, won a NSW Premier’s Award, wrote a collection of essays, three collections of short fiction and three novels, but she remains largely unknown by the mainstream reading public.' (Introduction)

'This Water : Five Tales' by Beverley Farmer Anna MacDonald , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 392 2017;
'There is a distinct poignancy attached to last things, a sense in which they encapsulate all that has gone before at the same time as they anticipate an end. In the moment of their first manifestation, last things are already haunted by their own absence. This Water: Five tales is the first book by Beverley Farmer to be published since 2005, and has been announced as her last work.' (Introduction)
Beverley Farmer : This Water: Five Tales JR , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 10-16 June 2017;
'The sad news that This Water: Five Tales will be Australian writer Beverley Farmer’s last work of fiction is announced in the first line on the back cover of the book. So it is hard not to read this collection of stories as a kind of testament or intimate reflection on the transience of life and the frailty of human powers.' (Introduction)
Elemental Mysteries : This Water : Five Tales by Beverley Farmer Susan Lever , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , June 2017;

'When she began publishing fiction in the 1980s, Beverley Farmer was part of a rising generation of women writers adding their voices to the record of Australian life. She was seen as a woman of modern multicultural Australia who had married one of the new Greek immigrants and experienced the contrast of cultures between Old Europe and modern Australia.' (Introduction)

Beverley Farmer 1941-2018 Archetypes and Fluency in This Water : Five Tales Lyn Jacobs , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 3 no. 18 2018;

'It is not unusual to encounter feminist re-readings of traditional stories, in the manner of speaking back via parodic challenges to gender stereotypes, but it is rare to find a writer re-dressing the skeletal bones of narrative to offer nuanced and sensual texts which subvert but also re-animate tales. And that is what is achieved in Beverley Farmer’s This Water:Five Tales (2017). After the contemplative essays of The Bone House (2005), with their stark black and white imagery and emphasis on dormancy and stone, Farmer returns to fiction where inherited stories are re-shaped to challenge the confines of precedent. This new publication includes a first-person story that illustrates the formative effects of word and image, reinterpretations of two Celtic tales, one Greek legend and a macabre European fairy-tale. Each story is discrete but they all reconsider masculist perceptions of women through the ages. This paper considers the re-framing and interrogation of the gendered designs of oral and folkloric traditions in This Water: Five Tales, focussing on ‘water’as a unifying theme and the fluency of Farmer’s poetic prose.'  (Publication abstract)

Last amended 9 Feb 2018 08:59:24
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