By Joshua Lobb
My novel is about many things. I’ve called it ‘a novel in twelve stories’ for a reason.
To give you the simplest framework:
It’s made up of 12 related stories. Each story describes an encounter with a different species of bird. Some are constantly in our lives, like kookaburras in our garden or magpies who swoop us on our way to work. Others are on the verge of extinction, like the Gould’s petrel whose breeding ground is limited to one small island off the coast of central NSW. Some birds become part of our family, like a pet budgie. Others are incorporated in more literal and violent ways, like a factory-farmed chicken on our plate at dinner.
One the other side of the encounter is a human at various stages of his life: a boy, a young man, a parent, a widower – but not necessarily in that order. He’s trying to piece together his life and his relationship with his daughter and his relationship with the world around him.
The following is a transcript of a talk given by Amanda Lohrey at the launch of The Broad Arrow: Being Passages from the History of Maida Gwynnham, a Lifer by Oliné Keese, with a critical introduction by Jenna Mead on 14 June 2019.
By Amanda Lohrey
Ruby Mikolaitis has been part of the SUP team from mid-March to mid-April. She is currently in her third year of a double degree (Bachelor of Communications and Media/Bachelor of Arts) and specialising in three majors including English Literature.