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Old Growth

Sharp and confrontational, with once again a stark usage of words, Kinsella observes the complexities that makes up humankind. The series of stories highlights a perspective of life, of love, wins and losses of the many people, as they struggle to make their way through life to a place, or a point, where their chosen pathway may eventually make a kind of bizarre sense or reach a conclusion.

As always his work hits at the centre of who we are with each of the stories told focusing on an aspect of behaviour that may or may not need to be dragged into the light of day, with the consequences of each of these actions climaxing in the unexpected.

A sparseness of words paints a stark picture in Sisters:, ‘Jessy stood on the street, swigging from a bottle of vodka. It was morning. Maybe 9 am.’’, which brings the reader to a place where there can be more than one interpretation of the written word. Why was she on the street………. with the tale eventually coming back to the beginning asking, Why?

The grief of the man who had lost his wife, destroying something special; destroying the things he had held dear, she had held dear while she was still alive, all in the name of grief or some other emotion, is a stark reminder that emotion is a comprehensive component to life, and regardless of how we attempt to avoid the tough stuff, it is always there, always a part of who we are and the world about us.

The emotive issue of racism is addressed in The Shopping Trolley and in Cheating The Periodic Table, teen issues are also placed under the microscope, looking at lack of respect, evening the score and perhaps, eventually growing up.

The stories are short, succinct and powerful as one would, and has come, to expect from a master of his craft. Under the sad tragedy of human life though, Kinsella has painted a layer of hope, that all is not lost, things a can change and the human spirit will eventually prevail over tragedy and should it not, as in some unfortunate cases, there is always a need for understanding.

AuthorJohn Kinsella
PublisherTransit Lounge
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedFebruary 2017