Here Until August ~ Josephine Rowe

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These superbly crafted stories follow the fates of characters who, by choice or by force, are travelling beyond the boundaries of their known worlds. We meet them navigating reluctant partings and uncertain returns or biding the disquieting calm that often precedes decisive action.

An agoraphobic French émigré watches terrorist videos compulsively as she minds a dog named Chavez. A young couple weather the interiority of a Montreal winter, more attuned to the illicit goings-on of their neighbours than to their own hazy, unfolding futures. A Western Australian family cross from mainland to island, from disaster towards a faltering redemption. Other stories play out in locations just beyond the brink of familiarity: flooded townships and distant lakes, sunlit woodlands or paths bright with ice, places of unpredictable access and spaces scrubbed from maps.

From the Catskills to the Snowy Mountains, the abandoned island outports of Newfoundland to the sprawl of an Australian metropolis, this scintillating collection from one of Australia’s most gifted writers shows us how the places we inhabit shape us in ways both remote and intimate.

Josephine Rowe has twice been named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist (in 2017 and 2020) and was awarded the 2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Her story collection Here Until August was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, while her novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Rowe has held fellowships with the University of Iowa, Stanford, the Omi International Arts Center and Yaddo. She lives in Melbourne.

Further reading

Read: Real Life, Granta

Review: Here Until August, Kirkus Reviews

Prompt: Start with a vivid memory from childhood or a recurring dream. Write freely for 10 minutes putting down as much detail as possible. Now throw in something unexpected – a random object, person or a bit of dialogue. Rework into fiction.

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