'From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George’s fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.'
'Lives turned upside down by a bureaucratic error in this Kafkaesque work of neo-absurdism. 'Original, intelligent and compelling - a rare combination. Formaldehyde pulls off a complex narrative with frequent time and point-of-view shifts without ever losing the reader. For a vella that borders on the Kafkaesque, it has a good deal of heart. The interconnecting stories are handled adroitly - the clever structure never gets in the way of the writing, which is sharply observed, assured and witty. Smart but never showy. The most original vel I've read for some time.' - Graeme Simsion 'Immerse yourself in Jane Rawson's Formaldehyde if you like the seriously weird or the creepily wonderful. This story has small but persistent claws; under cover of its smooth, conversational narration you will be clasped and dragged into some tough, strange places. Let it take you there. Let it blow your tiny mind.' - Margo Lanagan 'Skipping across different times and genres, Formaldehyde is a wonderfully strange and inventive story of love, loss and severed limbs.' - Ryan O'Neill' (Publication summary)
'It is 1997 in San Francisco and Simon and Sarah have been sent on a quest to see America: they must stand at least once in every 25-foot square of the country. Decades later, in an Australian city that has fallen on hard times, Caddy is camped by the Maribyrnong River, living on small change from odd jobs, ersatz vodka and memories. She's sick of being hot, dirty, broke and alone. Caddy's future changes shape when her friend, Ray, stumbles across some well-worn maps, including one of San Francisco, and their lives connect with those of teenagers Simon and Sarah in ways that are unexpected and profound. A meditation on happiness – where and in what place and with who we can find our centre, a perceptive vision of where our world is headed, and a testament to the power of memory and imagination, this is the best of novels: both highly original and eminently readable.' (Publisher's blurb)