'An ex-journalist on a sweltering night in Kuala Lumpur, raging in a city on the edge of meltdown; a young woman in present-day Iowa, reflecting on her two mothers in a Singapore of long ago; in Queensland’s Border Ranges, a boy prone to getting lost having six tiny bells pinned to his chest.
'All of these people are in the midst of change - divided by time and space, but living in a world of shrinking distances and disappearing differences.
'It’s what happens when you take award-winning writers from Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, put them in a room together, and see what they create. This book is the result of the Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange program: a unique experiment dedicated to collaboration, immersion, and cultural exchange. It’s a document emerging from two years of residencies, workshops, and ongoing dialogues - a map of art and adventure, ideas and heart.
'Featuring fiction, nonfiction, and essays from Cate Kennedy, Melissa Lucashenko, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Omar Musa, and many more, The Near and the Far is a book that bridges the gaps between Asia, Australia, and the world. Every day is a border crossing, and every story is a threshold. This collection invites readers to grab their passports and step beyond.' (Publication summary)
Only literary material by Australian authors individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:
- My Two Mothers by Singaporean writer Suchen Christine Lim
- The Illoi of Kantimeral by Singaporean writer Alvin Pang
- Standing in the eyes of the World by Malaysian writer Bernice Chauly
- The Diplomat's Child by American writer Robin Hemley
- BG : The Significant Years by US writer Xu Xi
- Treatise on Poetry by Myanma poet Nyein WAy
- Some Hints About Travelling to the Country Your Family by American writer Laurel Fantauzzzo
- Three Poems by Vietnamese poet nguyen Bao Chan
- Comadrona by Philippine writer Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
`Gimme an axe.'
'The woman blurted this order across the formica counter. When the shopkeeper turned and saw her brimming eyes he took a hasty step backwards. His rancid half-smile, insincere to begin with, vanished into the gloomy corners of the store. It was still very early. Outside, tucked beneath a ragged hibiscus bush, a hen cawed a single, doubtful note. Inside was nothing but this black girl and her highly irregular demand.' (Introduction)