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Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth Writers’ Prize’


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“Hi, I’m Glenda Guest. I’m going to read to you from my novel Siddon Rock.

Macha Connor arrived home from war as naked as the day she was born, except for well-worn boots and a dusty slouch hat, and the .303 rifle she held across her waist.

Alistair Meakins watched her from the shadows of his shop doorway.

Alistair saw the world as intersecting lines and spaces. His window display often had a background of ribbon lattice in suitable seasonal colours but he rarely used summer colours, saying to his customers, Summer is a blast from hell without red blaring into the street, to make us feel worse.

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“I’m Gill Schierhout and I’m reading from a work in progress.

I drew the short straw with that boy, you know what I mean? He knew nothing my son. He could not fix a car, a leaking pipe, a cycle puncture, a broken window pane.  Not that he wasn’t capable, not that I didn’t try to teach him everything I knew – he just didn’t do it.  What can you do with a boy like that? I have considered all sides of the coin – turned it around looked at it from this angle and that – every question you ask me, I have already asked myself a thousand times. And this is what I think: I drew the short straw with him, that’s a fact. It’s no ones fault.  I could have done exactly the same and he could have been sitting in that chair, standing behind a shop counter, fixing cars at Julie’s Motors, come home each night and tickle his wife where she likes it most – a pillar of society, you know what I mean.  Sometimes I think that the only thing keeping me alive now is my rage.

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