Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Curtin’

‘Legacy, Memorialisation, Grief and Loss’ – Amanda Curtin’s ‘Inherited’

I approach collections of short stories with trepidation. Not because I dislike the short story form (quite the contrary) but because of how emotionally taxing I find collections. At the end of a novel I need time to pause, reflect and, sometimes, grieve. I need to gather up what I will take from the novel as a writer, reader and human being and let it percolate through me. For this reason I can never commence one novel immediately after finishing another. I need three or four days to let my responses simmer and settle. The short story collection requires that I undergo this process at the end of each story rather than at the end of the book. It causes me a sort of emotional whiplash. Unless I’m in peak psychological condition (sadly, a rarity) I tend to pass over collected works of short fiction.

That said, I was such a fan of Amanda Curtin’s 2008 novel The Sinkings that I could not resist her new collection of short stories, Inherited. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sinkings by Amanda Curtin

The Sinkings opens with a grisly axe murder in the Western Australian town of Albany in 1882. The description of the murder takes little more than a page before the reader finds themselves in the present day, watching armchair researcher Willa Sampson ferret around in the State Records Office. Willa is looking for archival material relating to the murder. Willa is neither a descendant of the murdered man (a real historical personage), or a devotee of convict history. But there is a fillip of evidence in the records that intrigues her and gives her a sense of ‘ownership’ over the deceased’s story. Read the rest of this entry »