Griffith REVIEW no. 34

Fiona Mackrell

The Annual Fiction Edition of this excellent journal features new writing from Benjamin Law, Romy Ash, Chris Womersley, Melissa Lucashenko and more.
Griffith REVIEW no. 34
Perfectly timed for summer reading, the third Annual Fiction Edition of literary journal Griffith REVIEW is this year themed around the concept of ‘islands’ – physical and metaphorical, places and people isolated and connected.

A quarterly journal of contemporary writing and ideas, Griffith REVIEW is edited by Julianne Schultz and produced by Griffith University (QLD).

In her editorial, Schultz sets the works in this edition against the background of current discussions around a new Australian cultural policy and the fostering of cultural expression in art and communications, science and design and ‘much more’.

‘Telling stories, real and imagined, is an important part of this task – it is compelling, urgent; it has its own rewards, and a broader benefit.’ This edition, she says is ‘a fresh and exciting collection, optimistically engaging with the wonder of the world and human relations… [It publishes] exciting writers, not too weighed down by the jitteriness and uncertainty of the times, whose creativity provides the space to imagine, and by so doing contribute to a conversation about the world not only as it is but as it might be.’

The 20 works of fiction from established and emerging writers interpret the theme broadly, taking us to pubs and summer barbeques, to lonely houses and modern blocks of flats where the sound of cricket on a TV is never too far away. The collection includes Josephine Rowe’s haunting The tank and Sally Breen’s achingly sad Sunny Lodge; a shared conspiracy in Mrs Dogwether’s bird moment by Claire Aman, and Melissa Lucashenko’s Friday night at the Nudget, an extract from her fifth novel, Mullumbimby to be published by UQP in 2012.

The middle of nowhere by Chris Womersley, who was shortlisted for this year’s Miles Franklin for his second novel Bereft shows what a powerful writer he has become.

This edition announces the winners of the Griffith REVIEW Emerging Writers’ (GREW) Prize, selected from the emerging writers published in Griffith REVIEW in 2011. The winners of the fiction award are Romy Ash and Rachael S Morgan. The non-fiction award went to Meera Atkinson and Nicholas Low. The award includes a week-long writing residency, manuscript appraisal and mentoring.

Rachael S Morgan also won the 2011 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize for her story Tryst published in this edition. Stories by other GREW winners, Romy Ash’s Underwater, one of the stand-out works amongst the collection, and Nicholas Low’s Octopus are also included.

The volume also features three memoirs, including a reflection by Benjamin Law on the vagaries of Christmas created in ‘modern families’ in Post-nuclear. The poets in this edition include the award-winning Thomas Shapcott, Margaret Merrilees, Kathleen Bleakley and W H Chong.

The picture gallery of eight paintings, ‘Girt by water’ in this issue, is by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, a senior woman of the Kaiadilt tribe from the South Wellesley Islands, in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria.

Additional online-only content includes essays and memoirs from internationally acclaimed author Jay Griffiths, Mette Jakobsen and Barbara Brooks, amongst others.

Excerpts from this edition will be available on the Griffith REVIEW website, which also provides the full texts of stories from the previous Annual Fiction Editions (No. 30 and No. 26).

Griffith REVIEW edition 34: The Annual Fiction Edition
Publisher: Marilyn McMeniman
Editor: Julianne Schultz
Deputy Editor: Erica Sontheimer
Picture Editor and Production Manager: Paul Thwaites
Associate Editor: David Winter, Text Publishing
Publication and Cover Design: WH Chong and Susan Miller, Text Publishing
Proofreader: Alan Vaarwerk
Editorial Interns: Melissa Heng, Charlie O’Brien
Administration: Andrea Huynh
Typesetting: Midland Typesetters
Printing: Ligare Book Printers
Distribution: Penguin Australia

RRP $27.95 / NZ $36.00

griffithreview.com

About the author

Fiona Mackrell is a Melbourne based freelancer. You can follow her at @McFifi or check out www.fionamackrell.com