Winged Sandalsan essay

Martin Edmond

Having tried it before, he swore he wouldn’t again: Martin Edmond was a reluctant taxi driver on the streets of Sydney — three times taking up a trade like Charon’s, ferrying souls to keep himself in writing time. In this essay he explores the history and challenges of the profession, carrying the good, the bad and the delinquent through the underbelly of Sydney. He describes his ambivalence, coping with tedium, with idiotic or unsavoury behaviour and with his own early disinclination to work as a servant; how he made an accommodation with himself, finding a parallel in writing — and ultimately transforming his practice, allowing him to serve his clients with a kind of grace:

Thus it makes perfect sense to treat them as honoured guests; and to do all that is in your power to bring them safely, happily, perhaps even changed, to their destination.

Edmond is the sort of writer that makes you feel smarter, more creative and more civilised simply for having read him. Landfall Review Online

Martin talks about his work.

Martin’s website

The Sirena novella

Aaron Blaker

Hector arrives in a small East Coast town along with the millennial rains. He is captivated by the elemental beauty of the swimmer Marama, the community's own Pania of the reef. Alongside his obsession grows disgust at the squalid violence of daily life around him

A finely calibrated story — deeply humane, and darkly uneasy.

The Happiest Music on Earththree stories

Sue Wootton

Earle wants ‘more than anything in the whole entire universe to ride a roller coaster’ at the A&P show.
Margaretha dreads the ‘sweet zephyrs’ of spring that lure maids from the house where her husband labours over his ‘vats of stinking hell’ — seeking gold in urine. Lily’s mother sees shapeliness waiting to emerge from raggedy rosebushes, and from a gangly half-grown daughter.

Three stories that demonstrate the author’s verve and versatility, her keen eye and attentive ear.

Road Markings: An Anthropologist in the Antipodesa memoir

Michael Jackson

Internationally-acclaimed anthropologist and poet Michael Jackson travels his natal New Zealand, reflecting on the idea of origins. Visiting old haunts and old friends, he ponders the hold our histories have over us, and the enduring power of our first experiences in life.

'… exact, resonant and moving; beautifully wrought.' Martin Edmond, Dark Night: Walking with McCahon.