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A Fixed Place


250 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $39.99)

Publication Date: August 2019

ISBN 9781760800284

Rights: US & CA

UWA Publishing (Aug 2019)

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What was it like, living through the social, cultural and political upheaval of the last fifty years of the twentieth century in this Lucky Country? With Life flying forward into the future, what could be held onto, and what self (that place which is never fixed) could fix and hold the experience of those years? In A Fixed Place: the long and short of story, we find moments that were heldâ€â€moments of stasis, of hard-won clarity, of sexuality, joy, confusion, compassion. The collection includes pieces that span and scan more than half a lifetime: from the story a child tells herself as she struggles to come to terms with the weirdness of her extended family ("A Fixed Place"), to the story of a young teenager trying to comprehend tales told around the kitchen table, tales that defy interpretation ("The Origins and History of Aquarelle Taffeta"), to a story of violence and murder ("bringing yourself to do it"). They encompass the complexities of lesbian sexuality ("Not Unlike the Peeling of Many Bells" and "International lesbiansâ€â€portraits") and interracial adoption/fostering ("Goat Song"). Employing a range of styles and stylistic devices, the innovative language and format of each story is carefully crafted to match the subject matter. These stories are slippery with the grunt and sweat of hard yakkaâ€â€the work of striving towards consciousness against the grain of good old she'll-be-right complacency. From the sugarcane fields of Queensland to the struggle streets of metropolitan tenderloins, Ned and Nellie Skyring, Sybil Aspire (nee Dud), Tattoo, Bald Eagle, Big Red, Falsus Hopa, Wassaâ€â€boy and Uncle James live their lives. Whether in slave-like conditions in quiet suburbs or in dreamlike states on the horizon of the Australian imagination, the characters and their stories are in our cultural DNA and need to be remembered.

Author Biography

Kathleen Mary Fallon most recent work is a four-part project exploring her experiences as the white foster mother of a Torres Strait Islander foster son with disabilities. The project consisted of a feature film, Call Me Mum, the script of which was short-listed for the NSW Premier's Prize, an AWGIE and was nominated for four AFI Awards winning Best Female Support Actress Award. It was screened at the Australian Embassy in Paris for NAIDOC Week and for Sorry Day at ACMI. The four-part project also includes a novel Paydirt (UWAPress, 2007); a play, Buyback, which she directed at the Carlton Courthouse in 2006 and a Masters (Murdoch). Her novel, Working Hot, (Sybylla 1989, Vintage/Random House, 2000) won a Victoria Premier's Prize and her opera, Matricide – the Musical, which she wrote with the composer Elena Kats-Chernin, (produced by Chamber Made Opera, 1998). She wrote the text for the concert piece, Laquiem for the composer Andre´e Greenwell. Laquiem was performed at The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. She holds a PhD (UniSA) and was the co-recipient of the John Oxley Memory Award, State Library of Queensland 2013. She lectured in the creative writing programme at the University of Melbourne for eight years.