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y separately published work icon At the Edge of the Solid World single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2020... 2020 At the Edge of the Solid World
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In a snowbound village in the heart of the Swiss Alps, a husband and wife find their lives breaking apart in the days and months following the death of their firstborn. On the far side of the world, in their hometown of Sydney, a man on the margins of Australian society commits an act of shocking violence that galvanises international attention. As the husband recognises signs of his own grief in both the survivors and the perpetrator, his fixation on the details of the case feeds into insomnia, trauma, and an obsession with the terms on which we give value to human lives.

'At the Edge of the Solid World is a compulsive, compelling and lyrical novel, told with extraordinary empathy and emotional intelligence. It is the story of a child’s life cut short after just one day. Of a mother and father bereft at the loss of the future they’d imagined. Of an unspeakable crime, public outrage, anguish on the streets and a media frenzy that engineers heroes and villains, martyrs and scapegoats. Most of all, it is a profound meditation on the nature of loss, the resilience and fragility of the family unit and the stories we tell to explain the world.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Notes

  • Epigraph : 'That illusion of a world so shaped that it echoes every groan, of human beings so tied together by common needs and fears that a twitch at one's wrist jerks another, where however strange you experience other people have had it too, where however far you travel in your own mind someone has been there before you - is all an illusion. We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. - Virginia Woolf'

    'If every event which occurred could be given a name, there would be no need for stories. As things are here, life outstrips our vocabulary. A word is missing and so the story has to be told. - John Berger'

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Brio Books , 2020 .
      image of person or book cover 5786412839069705592.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 477p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published July 2020.

      ISBN: 9781922267009 (pbk), 9781922267016 (ebk)

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Naama Grey-Smith on Daniel Davis Wood Naama Grey-Smith (presenter), Southbank : Australian Book Review, Inc. , 2021 23440334 2021 single work podcast

'In today’s episode, Naama Grey-Smith reads her review of At the Edge of the Solid World, the second book of fiction by the Australian writer Daniel Davis Wood. The novel follows the breakdown of the lives of a man and wife in the aftermath of the death of their firstborn. Naama Grey-Smith, an editor, publisher and critic based in Fremantle, Western Australia, reviews the book for ABR’s January-February issue – describing it as ‘a masterclass in wedding form to content’.' (Production summary)

Irreconcilable Losses Julian Novitz , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , September 2021;

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel

'At the Edge of the Solid World (2020) by Daniel Davis Wood is a novel about grief. This in and of itself is not remarkable, literary fiction deals with grief quite frequently, drawing us into sympathetic alignment with grieving characters and narrators, encouraging us to experience their losses as our own. The commonality of grief provides a seemingly easy point of connection. What makes us laugh, the things that spark joy, satisfaction, and contentment, are often highly individual. The things that make us weep appear more universal, they cut across backgrounds and boundaries. Tragedy provides a worthier, more serious subject. We suffer with fictional characters, and – at least according to the old, dubious Aristotelian principle – somehow improve ourselves through the vicarious experience of their suffering. We become more thoughtful, sympathetic, or empathetic. We learn something, even if it is only to know or be reminded of what it is to suffer. At the Edge of the Solid World is a novel about grief that defies these expectations. It focuses on the solipsism of grief, the limits of our capacity to truly understand the traumas of others, and the problematic and exploitative elements of our attempts to do so.' (Introduction)

The Saddest of Stories, Beautifully Told : Your Guide to the Miles Franklin 2021 Shortlist Jen Webb , 2021 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 15 July 2021; The Guardian Australia , 15 July 2021;
Intricate Study of Grief Beejay Silcox , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9 January 2021; (p. 14)

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel
‘The Truth Was More Complex’ : A Finely Honed Novel Tests Limits Naama Grey-Smith , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January–February no. 428 2021; (p. 46)

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel
Daniel Davis Wood, At the Edge of the Solid World Jeff Sparrow , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 10-16 October 2020;

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel

'At the Edge of the Solid World begins with the death of a child and then gets much, much darker. As such, it’s not a book for everyone. But it’s a significant literary achievement, nonetheless.' (Introduction)

‘The Truth Was More Complex’ : A Finely Honed Novel Tests Limits Naama Grey-Smith , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January–February no. 428 2021; (p. 46)

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel
Intricate Study of Grief Beejay Silcox , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9 January 2021; (p. 14)

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel
Irreconcilable Losses Julian Novitz , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , September 2021;

— Review of At the Edge of the Solid World Daniel Davis Wood , 2020 single work novel

'At the Edge of the Solid World (2020) by Daniel Davis Wood is a novel about grief. This in and of itself is not remarkable, literary fiction deals with grief quite frequently, drawing us into sympathetic alignment with grieving characters and narrators, encouraging us to experience their losses as our own. The commonality of grief provides a seemingly easy point of connection. What makes us laugh, the things that spark joy, satisfaction, and contentment, are often highly individual. The things that make us weep appear more universal, they cut across backgrounds and boundaries. Tragedy provides a worthier, more serious subject. We suffer with fictional characters, and – at least according to the old, dubious Aristotelian principle – somehow improve ourselves through the vicarious experience of their suffering. We become more thoughtful, sympathetic, or empathetic. We learn something, even if it is only to know or be reminded of what it is to suffer. At the Edge of the Solid World is a novel about grief that defies these expectations. It focuses on the solipsism of grief, the limits of our capacity to truly understand the traumas of others, and the problematic and exploitative elements of our attempts to do so.' (Introduction)

The Saddest of Stories, Beautifully Told : Your Guide to the Miles Franklin 2021 Shortlist Jen Webb , 2021 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 15 July 2021; The Guardian Australia , 15 July 2021;
y separately published work icon Naama Grey-Smith on Daniel Davis Wood Naama Grey-Smith (presenter), Southbank : Australian Book Review, Inc. , 2021 23440334 2021 single work podcast

'In today’s episode, Naama Grey-Smith reads her review of At the Edge of the Solid World, the second book of fiction by the Australian writer Daniel Davis Wood. The novel follows the breakdown of the lives of a man and wife in the aftermath of the death of their firstborn. Naama Grey-Smith, an editor, publisher and critic based in Fremantle, Western Australia, reviews the book for ABR’s January-February issue – describing it as ‘a masterclass in wedding form to content’.' (Production summary)

Last amended 18 May 2021 13:14:49
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