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This Water

276 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published June 2017
ISBN 9781925336313
Epdf ISBN 9781925336368
Epub ISBN 9781925336375

This Water

Five TalesBeverley Farmer

The celebrated author's last work of fiction

Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing, in her exploration of feminine concerns, and her use of different literary forms – novel, short story, poetry, essay, journal, myth and fairy tale.

This Water is the last work of fiction by Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing in this country. It is a collection of five interwoven tales, three of them novellas. Each has a woman at its centre: in each the women speak, act, think for themselves, in opposing or escaping from an oppressive authority.

One tale, set on the south coast of Victoria, is animated by the legend of the Great Silkie; another finds its rebellious princess in Lake Annaghmakerrig in Ireland; a third has Clytemnestra as its central figure, mourning the daughter sacrificed by her husband Agamemnon so that he could go to war with Troy – surely one of the great laments in Australian literature.

References to water and stone, ice and fire, light and darkness are woven throughout the collection, as are figures and images from myth and fairy tale – kings and brides, swans and seals, a ring of gold,  ‘the blood red of her silks’ – their power evoked by repetition and resonance, and the remarkable rhythms of Farmer’s language.

About the Author

Beverley Farmer

Beverley Farmer (1941–2018) was the author of four collections of short stories, including Milk, which won the NSW Premier’s Award for Fiction, and A Body of Water, and the novels Alone, The Seal Woman and The House in the Light, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. This Water: Five Tales was longlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize. It was her last work of fiction.

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Longlisted for the Stella Prize 2018

Related News

In Memoriam Beverley Farmer

A eulogy delivered by Ivor Indyk at Beverley Farmer’s memorial service at Queenscliff on Sunday 29 April 2018. It is difficult to write a formal eulogy for Beverley Farmer, because she was herself so much a writer of process. Her characters are often portrayed in ‘in-between’ states, in transition – culturally, socially, physically – and she […]

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