'Griffith Review‘s annual showcase of the best of Australian new writing presents stories of inner lives, resilience and potential realised.
'It features the four winners of our annual novella competition – Rhianna Boyle, Claire G Coleman, Mikele Prestia and Kate Veitch – as well as exciting new work from Thomas Major, Kristina Olsson, Adam Thompson, Linda Neil and Allanah Hunt. There’s new poetry from a compelling range of vital Australian voices, and the first in an ongoing series of pieces that will feature online over December and January, The Elemental Summer, from award-winning climate scientist Joëlle Gergis.' (Publication summary)
'At the end of the first day of spring, the clear sky is dotted with as many stars as the city’s faux dark lets through. The blue, red and yellow lights of skyscrapers, far enough away to be decorative, flicker in the night. The Brisbane River gives an illusion of solidity beneath its polished surface. Two willie wagtails pass calls around the reach; a boobook owl sits in a branch overhead as a fruit bat lands in a tall, straight palm and pulls its leaves towards the ground.' (Introduction)
'WHEN I TOLD my six-year-old son I was writing a book that would be titled Finding the Heart of the Nation, he asked me, ‘Where is the heart of the nation?’ I pulled him close, put my hand on his heart and told him, ‘The heart of the nation is here’. From the way his smile met his cheeks and his cheeks touched his eyes, I could see he was proud to hear my answer. He understood that the book was for him.' (Introduction)
'IMAGINE YOURSELF A bird, huge, flying out of time through a smoky sky, back, back through millennia. Further than your own memory, deeper than your instinct: about 226 million years. Gondwana floats, massive, around the polar south. Umbilical. The shape of Australia, the place that will one day be your home, is still lost, a speck in the supercontinent, just recognisable from above if you know what you’re looking for. Still, you beat through temperate air; from your high currents you can make out great mountains and gouged valleys, the shapes of trees, small plants – delicate, lacy – and horsetails, mosses. Tree ferns, woody conifers, seed-bearing ginkgos. And there, between swamp and mountain, early dinosaurs – therapods. Young, toothless.' (Publication summary)
'THE SOUND OF waves just behind me filled my ears. My bare feet on the hot sand made me feel vaguely uncomfortable. I gently lifted them up and down, like a comical kind of marching: left, right, left, right, up and down, up and down. My arms joined in, swinging forwards and backwards in time. The twelve days of Christmas were always significant in our family story, give or take a day or two. In the demarcation of our coastal life, the things that preceded and followed our annual trip to the beach – the buying, the wrapping and unwrapping of gifts, the packing and unpacking of bags – coincided, oddly, with the re-boxing of unwanted presents and the release of our urban bodies set free by the sea.' (Introduction)
'IN THE MONTHS leading up to the 2019 federal election, as part of a small team of fellow union members, I travelled 26,000 kilometres throughout the Northern Territory electorate of Lingiari. My mission was to enrol First Nations peoples to vote.' (Introduction)