Hold Your Fire ~ Chloe Wilson


The debut of an unforgettable new voice in Australian fiction, Hold Your Fire exposes the battles we wage beneath the surface.

The title story takes us into the cold war of a contemporary family: a missile-making mother doubts her husband’s guts and the steel of her son, until a playground incident escalates and brings them into the most surprising of alliances.

Needle-sharp, effortlessly surprising and beautifully controlled, every tale will pin you to the page. A young
couple move into a house in which there’s been a recent murder, and fall under the spell of their peculiar, commanding neighbours. Two sisters are determined to detoxify themselves into perfection. A diver pushes herself and those around her to higher and higher leaps. Interspersed with these are lightning strikes of
flash fiction: we glimpse a leopard in the apartment next door; plants grown out of a strange and miraculous soil;
the spirit of a girl who’s been thrown down a well.

At each turn, Chloe Wilson offers a unique insight, a tear in the veil of our moral certainties. Her stories strip away the varnish of our decency to reveal the raw mechanics beneath.

Chloe Wilson is the author of the short story collection Hold Your Fire and two poetry collections, The Mermaid Problem and Not Fox Nor Axe, which was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award. Her work has appeared in GrantaThe Iowa ReviewBest Australian PoemsMeanjinELLE AustraliaThe Big Issue, and Australian Book Review, among others. Her stories have won the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Chloe is a former Voiceworks Poetry Editor and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne.

Further reading:

Read: Hold Your Fire, Granta

Review: Chloe Wilson pulls no punches, AU Review

Prompt: Begin by writing a complaint letter. Then use this as a way in to a story.

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