Cassie Flanagan Willanski’s debut collection Here Where We Live is one of our must-reads for the year.
Winner of the Unpublished Manuscript Award back in 2014, it received high praise from the judges for its ‘subtle, assured writing that deftly weaves dialogue and description and expertly uses imagery to plumb the depths of its protagonists’ emotions’. Brian Castro said ‘I was moved and I was haunted’, and we agree.
We’d like to share one of our favourite extracts from the book with you today. It’s a short story called ‘Karko’. We hope you enjoy it!
Oliver’s mum had a stupid boss. The night before the class excursion to the Tjilbruke Trail, the boss mixed up the rosters and called Oliver’s mum back in for the night shift. She’d been working all day and was watching telly to relax. Oliver had to get out of bed and go and stay over at Aunty Peta’s house again.
Aunty Peta was pretty good if you needed to stay somewhere else away from home all the time. She was probably Oliver’s favourite aunt. She tucked him into bed, even though he was eight years old. Aunty Peta straightened back up with an effort, because she was about to have a baby, and it was hard for her to bend. She set her alarm so Oliver wouldn’t miss the bus.