Enter the world of a murdered socialite, be consumed by rural madness, be ignited by the longings of an obsessive optometrist, engrossed by unorthodox book-binding, and moved by a heartbreaking meditation on the Oklahoma bombings. With its bewitching language, full of subtle harmonies and rhythms, The Essential Bird takes the reader on a voyage that delights, amazes and fascinates. Carmel Bird weaves fact, fantasy and history into a shimmering fabric of fiction that creates a world of hyper-reality both tender and profound. (Source: back cover)
THE GOLDEN MOMENT The story of the golden moment is a story about suburban Australia in the nineteen fifties. The street in which the story takes place is often called ‘the golden mile’ because so many wealthy bankers and barristers and surgeons have for generations lived there in grandeur and comfort with their beautiful wives and happy families. Almost all of these families have very white skins indeed, and are by religion Christians (of the Protestant kind). The rare Jewish or Roman Catholic family is treated with superb tolerance and charity, but it is understood that such families are darkened by a blight too powerful and mysterious to name.
The houses themselves bear the names they were given by the original inhabitants and some of these names reflect a nostalgia for places far away, others expressing a hope in the youthful country of Australia. The style of architecture is labelled ‘Federation’ in recognition of the modern birth of the country itself. The trees and flowers are by and large European, and the branches of the oaks and elms that line the street on one side almost touch those on the other, so that in summer a magical green tunnel arches above the traffic, and people from less beautiful suburbs drive along here just to marvel at the trees along the golden mile. Even ordinary traffic seems to move sedately along the grandest section of the road.
A golden moment is that time of the afternoon photographers love, when the light of day bathes the world in one last glow of radiance, when Paradise is promised, when everything stands still at the instant between the darkness and the light, when fairies and goblins and other spirits good and bad may be revealed.
The golden moment on the golden mile is one of nature’s marvels.
(Source: author's website)