Part observation, part imaginings, this string of short vignettes walks us through an urban and psychological landscape of Australia—the isolation and loneliness of city life—that is both unsettling and serene.
From the very first lines you’ll be transported back into your years of city living, when you lived in such painful proximity to people that you knew their daily schedules, the sound of their coughing, the sounds of their sobbing, the blur of the news on their small TVs, and the smells of their cooking. You’ll build up a picture of a man living alone in an apartment—a small balcony his window to the world—making small forays to the local café or the local bookshop. You’ll watch the crows, the basil plant that has gone to seed. You’ll worry that if you buy a typewriter it will upset the very same neighbour who has no qualms about sending her cigarette smoke drifting in your direction.
Jonathan Hadwen paints a world full of characters and character. He seeks out the noise and the clamour of his world, and then finds the quiet that stitches it all together.
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