By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Griffith Review 38: The Novella Project
Edited by Julianne Schultz (Text Publishing, $27.95, softcover, 290 pages)
Telling a story takes many forms, but enthusiasm surrounds the revival of the novella, a premium literary form that’s most rewarding.
Storytelling is of the utmost importance with narratives questioning individuality, disposition and purpose; exploring imaginary, concept, places; and providing insight into the significance of human relationships, their complexities and catastrophe.
A whole new world of access has opened up with the digital publishing revolution even though many consider that it has caused disruptions in a “calamitous way”.
Julianne Schultz stresses that new opportunities opening up to allow writers to experiment with stories are not only “intense and detailed, but often grounded in the times, and perfectly designed for busy people to read in one sitting”.
GR38 celebrates the novella, featuring six stories picked by a panel of judges that will captivate the senses.
A thought-provoking and realistic tale of a junkie in trouble is originated by Jim Hearn; war time Japan is the setting for a tragic story by Ed Wright of a high-spirited teenager torn between love and duty; the modern realism and parable of East Timor life are welcomed by Christine Kearney; a bleak Melbourne winter of 1923 is poignantly restructured by Lyndel Caffrey; a tale of tortured love is combined with a portrait of strife-torn Greece by Katerina Cosgrove; and a single diversion and its rippling consequences are explored by Mary-Rose MacColl.
This annual fiction edition should give a resounding boost to a new age for the novella “with an antipodean perspective”.
Edition 400, 11 March 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.