New Australian Fiction 2019

Suzie Eisfelder

I get really irate with myself when I open a book in order to scribble a few words about it and find I’ve written nothing on my bookmark. Why couldn’t past me be disciplined enough to scribble a few words so that current me wouldn’t have to dive into the short stories to figure out which ones I liked most? This generally happens when everything has been so good that I’ve been too consumed with reading to write anything. As I’ve said before and will probably say many more times, I love short stories and anthologies. The people who write short stories have such talent and this anthology highlights that nicely.

The writers are:

Tony Birch • Zoë Bradley • Mikaella Clements • Craig Cormick • Laura Elvery • Andrea Gillum • Anne Hotta • Joshua Kemp • Jack Kirne • Julie Koh • Wayne Marshall • Chloe Michele • A.S. Patrić • Allee Richards • Melanie Saward • Gretchen Shirm • Khalid Warsame • Laura Elizabeth Woollett

And with an Introduction written by Series Editor, Rebecca Starford. I love this introduction. Starford shares with us how she views stories and that she chose all of these stories with this particular viewpoint. The stories she chose ‘felt especially prescient to our current social and political moment’. At this stage I feel I need to remind you of the promise 2019 had for us all. It was before the world changed in 2020. I finished my degree and declined to continue with studying during 2020, a decision I sort of regret.

Just a quick delve into these stories makes me understand my memory. You’ve got Tinder dating, people disappearing and so much more. Each story leads me through to the end in such a way that I am comforted by the words even if I’m upset by the story. There is such lovely phrasing in them.

One of the things I love about some of these stories is that they’re not of my background, they introduce me to writers from other cultures…very talented writers such as Julie Koh. I’m hoping to read more of her works in the future. Khalid Warsame seems to have seen into my soul with his short story about being imperfect, I feel comforted by it. I won’t say much about the horror of being burned, but A.S. Patrić described it so well I feel it was me in the fire.

If you’d like to get some of the magic here’s a link. You can either look at it or buy the ebook as you choose, but there’s some awesome writing here.


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