Here’s issue 3 of the special volume of Review of Australian Fiction, edited by Laurie Steed, that features writers from Western Australia. This issue presents a story by one of Western Australia’s most celebrated novelists, Brenda Walker, paired with emerging writer Maria Papas—and two fascinating, and unsettling, stories they are.
Brenda Walker’s story, ‘Mouse’, begins with a singular voice that leads us into a small hell:
Inside the building next to the car park there is a flight of stairs that leads to the floor where the mice live. If you want to work with mice you must put on special clothing, heavy white plastic boots, gloves and a mask. You must walk through a sequence of doors, you must not carry bacteria from the outside world with you. This is to protect the mice from contamination. The mice live in translucent boxes. Their eyes are pink bubbles in their short fur.
Maria Papas’s story, ‘Fish’, is characterised with a voice with an almost choral quality. Here is the first, portentous paragraph:
She was interstate when she heard about the dead fish. She was interstate and in her hotel room after a long and inhospitable day when her sister called to say that the twins’ father had brought a dead fish into the house.
RAF publishes two stories every two weeks, delivered in mobi (for Kindle) or ePub (for iPhone/iPad, Kobo, Nook, Readmill) format. Individual issues of RAF are $2.99. A subscription for six issues is $12.99.