From the Wreck

From the Wreck

From the Wreck

From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George's life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent.

Jane Rawson lives in Melbourne's west. She has written three books of fiction – From the Wreck (2017), Formaldehyde (2015) and A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists (2013) – and a non-fiction guide, The Handbook: surviving and living with climate change (2015), co-authored with James Whitmore. Her work has won the 2015 Viva la Novella Prize and the 2014 Most Underrated Book Award. You can find her short fiction in Sleepers Almanac, Overland, Tincture, Seizure, Review of Australian Fiction and at janebryonyrawson.wordpress.com.

From the Wreck
Transit Lounge
Author: Jane Rawson
ISBN: 9780995359451
RRP: $29.95

Interview with Jane Rawson

Question: What inspired you to write From The Wreck?

Jane Rawson: In 1859 my great-great grandfather was wrecked aboard the steamship Admella, off the coast of South Australia. He survived a terrible trauma and went on to marry and have many, many descendants. I wanted to write something as a tribute to his strength and tenacity, and to say thanks for making it possible for me to be born. I'm not sure he'd love the book that resulted, though!


Question: Can you talk about the research journey that went into the writing?

Jane Rawson: I was really lucky that my uncle, who lives in Adelaide, and other members of my family had been interested in George Hills and the Admella for a while, and had already collected lots of information. With the help of Ancestry.com and Trove - which is an absolutely brilliant service provided by the National Library of Australia - I managed to find out more. I paid a visit to Port Adelaide, where the book is set, to get a feel for the streets. And then I accepted that I would have to make up most of the story out of my head, because I wanted to go beyond the historical detail.


Question: What's the best thing about the character of George Hills?

Jane Rawson: George has been through a terrible experience and in some ways he is much the worse for it - obsessive and gloomy and often cruel to his children. But he is also determined, and no matter how often the torments in his brain wear him down, he keeps struggling on, fighting back. And somehow, through it all, the spark of joy and laughter sometimes flares up in him and he is an absolute delight.


Question: What's next, for you?

Jane Rawson: Everything I write is at least tangentially concerned with environmental issues, and with our treatment of the natural world (even 'From the Wreck'). I'm trying to figure out an interesting, new way to write about extinction - if I ever do, I'll start my next novel.


Interview by Brooke Hunter

 

From the Wreck
Transit Lounge
Author: Jane Rawson
ISBN: 9780995359451
RRP: $29.95




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