The Sinkings

The Sinkings (2008, UWA Publishing)

Perhaps the name that matters is not the one we were born to but the one we choose for ourselves.

In 1882, a dismembered body was discovered at a lonely campsite called the Sinkings. The remains were identified at autopsy as those of a woman, but later the victim was recognised as Little Jock. More than a hundred years later, grieving mother Willa Samson becomes obsessed with the story of this sandalwood carter and former convict who might have been a woman.

An unforgettable story about the ways cruelty and ignorance, kindness and empathy mark individuals and histories. • Simone Lazaroo

Cool, musical and mysterious … an effortless novelistic debut • The Weekend Australian

Curtin disarms the reader in large part because of the beauty of the writing. • The Australian Literary Review

The Sinkings is, as much as anything else, a beautiful and haunting story about violence, obsession, secrecy, longing, hardship and escape. Yet it is also one of human resilience. • Reviews in Australian Studies

The Sinkings is a calm, closely worked performance, artfully sustained … the work of a writer in command both of her prose and of the intricate, unconsoling story that she tells. • Canberra Times

The Sinkings deals with intersexuality in an intelligent, compassionate, and not at all false way … It’s a powerful, intricate work. • Bookslut

ISBN 978 1 921401 11 4

Link here to a version of a talk on ‘History, fiction and “truth” in The Sinkings

Resources for students studying The Sinkings here

View an archival map of the murder site here

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