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Michelle Cahill

Michelle Cahill is an Australian novelist and poet of Indian heritage. Her short story collection, Letter to Pessoa (Giramondo), was awarded the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing, shortlisted in the Steele Rudd Award and longlisted in the ALS Gold Medal. Her novel Daisy & Woolf  was longlisted in the ALS Gold Medal. She has been shortlisted in the Elizabeth Jolley Prize, the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, and received the Val Vallis Award and a Red Room Poetry Fellowship. In 2023 she is the Hedberg Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania.


Letter to Pessoa

Michelle Cahill

216 pages
Paperback, 19.7 x 13 cm
Published September 2016
ISBN 9781925336146

Letter to Pessoa is the first collection of short stories by Indian-Australian poet Michelle Cahill. It is an imaginative tour de force, portraying a range of complex characters in social and political settings across the world, from Seville to Nairobi, Boston to Chiang Mai, Kathmandu to Kraków. Like the poet Fernando Pessoa, who gives the collection its title, and who created as many as seventy versions of himself, Cahill displays a remarkable inventiveness in the creation of perspectives and identities, making distant landscapes and situations come alive, as they express the fear and longing, obsession and outrage, of the people caught up in them. Displaying its awareness of the power of writing to create realities, the collection includes stories in letter form to Jacques Derrida, Virginia Woolf, Jean Genet, and to JM Coetzee, from his character Melanie Isaacs.