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My Sister Chaos
My Sister Chaos

My Sister Chaos


204 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $24.95)

Publication Date: March 2011

ISBN 9781876756840

Rights: US, CA & MX

Spinifex Press (Mar 2011)


eBook Editions Available

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The story of twin sisters who escape from an unknown, war-torn country, this novel follows an obsessive-compulsive cartographer trapped in the mapping of her own house and a painter turned code-breaker trying to find the lover she lost in the war. While the cartographer is obsessed with keeping the world in order—her sister’s unexpected visit is equated with a sign of chaos—her sister has a firm grip on the real world and, perhaps, a greater sense of order. Presented within a world of obsession and trauma, this narrative explores whether anyone is immune to the forces of destruction.


“I was intrigued by Lara Fergus’s bold and original use of cartographic and mathematical metaphors, which enabled her to tell a story with two of the hallmarks of a good piece of mathematics: conceptual complexityand economical simplicity of expression.†—Robyn Arianrhod, author, Einstein's Heroes

“Intriguing and intelligent, Lara Fergus unites cartography, art, tyranny, and the complex ties between twin sisters in a highly original novel of exile and longing.†—Andrea Goldsmith, author, The Prosperous Thief

"An endlessly fascinating read that will be hard to put down." —Reviewer's Bookwatch

"Lara Fergus writes a character who is subversive and démarqué. She is the I (eye), the focal point, watching the world. She defies the whole Western system of representation in which the female I is not reliable." —Dominique Bourque, editor, The Lands Within Me: Expressions by Canadian Artists of Arab Origin

“Keeps the heart of darkness pulsing in the light of rationality, each captive of the other, so that in the last stretches of the novella, where the entwinement of ‘orderly’ complicity and ‘chaotic’ resistance is raised to heightened intensity, I found I hadn’t breathed for pages.†—Marion May Campbell, author, Shadow Thief

“A strong, clear, and intelligent voice. This is a compelling and suggestive exploration of women living in multiple forms of exile standing proudly in the company of works by Rosa Cappiello, Christa Wolf, Marguerit Duras, Jorge Luis Borges, and Albert Camus.†—Gina Mercer, author, Parachute Silk

"Nothing in this elegant, brilliant debut is out of place—it has obviously been crafted with thought and care. Its graceful structure reflects its content, and its compelling, well-paced plot artfully ties humanity’s most profound struggles and tragedies to maths and mapmaking." —Readings Books Music Film

"Marvelous. I’m still not sure I fully understand it, but it kept me up all night the night I read it and I look forward to rereading it." —Elevate Difference

Author Biography

Lara Fergus grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney and gave up a science degree to become a contemporary dancer. Some years and an ankle injury later she gave that up to see the world and wash dishes. She spent seven years living overseas, mostly in France. In that time she completed degrees in writing, women’s studies and international law, and worked with various advocacy organisations, including for newly arrived immigrant and refugee women. She has now worked as a researcher and writer on human rights—particularly violence against women—for over a decade, with organisations such as Amnesty International, White Ribbon, VicHealth and most recently the United Nations. She currently works for the Victorian Government on policy to prevent violence against women. She lives in Melbourne with her partner Maryse, writes before work and dances on the weekends. My Sister Chaos is her first novel.