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“Hello, my name is Alison Booth and I’m going to read to you part of the prologue to my second novel which was published with Random House Australia earlier this year and it’s called Indigo Sky:
No bulb in the light fitting. No water, no food. The room hot and airless, the only furniture a battered iron bedstead with a thin mattress and stained cover. The palms of her hands felt sticky. Moisture trickled down between her shoulder blades and into the band of her knickers. Her shift was damp and clung to her skin. There were no windows, apart from a small roof light. Through this she saw the occasional lonely cloud drifting across the pale blue.
Although without a watch, she knew by the whitening of the sky that it was almost evening. The others would be at dinner and she wouldn’t be there to look after them. This would be the second meal she’d missed today. After running her tongue over dry, cracked lips, she took a few deep breaths to stem her rising panic. She couldn’t bear the thought of being enclosed in this small space once it was dark. Already the walls seemed to be pressing in on her, as if they had a life of their own; a living breathing organism that would crush her once night fell. She could die in here and no one would know.
The fading light began to turn greenish, as if filtered through leaves that she could not see. She inspected the roof light. Nothing more than a vertical glazed panel where part of the ceiling slanted up at an acute angle. Again she tried the door. Still locked of course, and bolted too. She’d heard the click-click of the two barrel bolts being pulled across after she was pushed inside all those hours ago. She rattled the door and put her shoulder against it; a futile gesture as the door opened inward.
Once more she looked around the room, and up at the ceiling. Closely she inspected the roof light. Maybe that glass panel wasn’t so fixed after all; it looked as if there might be a handle halfway up the sash. She’d never be able to reach this though, in spite of her height, in spite of standing on her tiptoes. Again the walls seemed to be pushing towards her, and her heartbeat was becoming frantic. Slowly, deeply, she inhaled and exhaled until the panic started to abate.
Of course there was the bedstead, she thought. Although it was heavy, she was easily able to push it underneath the roof light.”
ABOUT ALISON BOOTH:
Alison Booth began writing fiction as a child, abandoned it in her twenties and returned to writing short – and infrequent – stories in the late 1990s. Some years later she wrote Stillwater Creek, her first novel, published in January 2010. This was followed by The Indigo Sky, published in January 2011. Alison is currently working on the third – and final – volume of the trilogy. Born in Melbourne and brought up in Sydney, Alison Booth obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics in 1984. After two decades living and working in the UK, she returned to Australia in 2002 to take up a professorial appointment at the Australian National University. She is married with two daughters.
“I have had three weeks residency at Varuna, the most recent being two weeks as a Varuna Alumnus in 2009, and several years before that a week-long residency on a Varuna Longlines Fellowship.” Alison Booth
Stillwater Creek (Trade Paperback, 2010)
Stillwater Creek (Paperback, 2011) awarded a Highly Commended in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award
Stillwater Creek (eBook, 2010)
The Indigo Sky (Trade Paperback, 2011)
The Indigo Sky (eBook, 2011)
Alison Booth’s agent:
Australian Literary Management
2A Booth St, Balmain NSW 2041
Tel: +612 9818 8557
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