Letter to Pessoa
Winner UTS Glenda Adams Award in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Shortlisted in the Steele Rudd Queensland Literary Awards
Longlisted in the ALS Gold Medal
Prize winning stories from the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize and the KWS Hilary Mantel Short Story Prize.
Nominated for Best Books 2016 Australian Book Review, for Sydney Review of Books’ Best Fiction, and Best Avant-garde Fiction, Mascara Literary Review
Launch speech Michelle de Kretser
Review in The Weekend Australian by Sam Cooney
Review in Australian Book Review by Fiona Hile
Review in Sydney Morning Herald by Geoff Page
Review by Rakha Sarkel in Indian Link
Review in Spectrum, SMH by Cameron Woodhead
Review in The West Australian by Elaine Fry
Review in TEXT by Ruby Todd
Review in Verity La by Angela Serrano
Review in Mascara Literary Review by Paul Giffard-Foret
Review in Sydney Review of Books by Paul Sharrad
Review in Compulsive Reader by Maggie Ball
Review in the Red Room Blog by Angelene Karas
Review NSW Writer’s Centre by Kyra Thomsen
Review ANZ LitLover’s Blog by Karenlee Thompson
Review in Coburg Review of Books
Interview with Chris Ringrose, Creative Lives
These intertextual epistles gesture towards the porous nature of the border between reading and writing …. It is, in an echo of Cavafy, the voyage that constitutes the achievement, the blind and audacious launching of the self, whatever shape it has provisionally assumed, onto the sea of writing.
~ Michelle de Kretser
I have read Letter to Pessoa with admiration, particularly for its virtuosic, Pessoa-like changes of voice
~ J.M. Coetzee
‘an exquisitely moving debut collection of short stories ascending the lyrical heights expected from such a gifted poet. It is impossible not to luxuriate in the musicality of her narratives, each a virtuoso rendition of vastly different worlds.’
~ Elaine Fry, The West Australian
Thought provoking, beautifully written, a book that engages so compellingly with character, emotion and ideas. One of the best book of short stories I’ve read for a long time.
~ Judith Beveridge
I love the poetic and philiosophic edge to it; I love the multiplicity of peoples and locations, the connections to writers and thinkers, to Borges and Pessoa, to Nabokov and others…
~ Peter Boyle
Reading this book instilled a meditative trance in me where I moved between animal and human, place and time and poetry; these stories are narrative poems, deeply fulfilling.
~ Rashida Murphy
One of the most exciting books I’ve read for a long time, just brilliant — rich, bold, moving, stimulating, pleasurable.
~ Nicholas Jose
I admire the variety of voices and settings, the diversity of cultural experiences the book embraces, and the sheer imaginative reach of the stories. The audacity of some of the pieces impressed me, as does the skill in bringing together (and subtly linking) such a kaleidoscope of narrative tableaux.
~ Alex Skovron
It is a different way of working with the reality of racialisation and racism in English-language literature…. a remarkable first collection.
~ Angela Serrano
Like Dovey she can master technical language, or ventriloquise other writers, or describe poetically. Or matter-of-factly give the narrative centre-stage. Her stories flower in the uncertain terrain of globalisation, describing the cross-pollination of ideas, the flight from war and the lure of the East for Westerners, but she also gets beyond types – the immigrant, the refugee, the tourist – to the particular shape and colour of individual lives.
~ Coburg Review of Books
She exhibits a poet’s economy in cutting to the heart of a time and place. Her deftness and linguistic grace masks her purpose, till she reveals a shocking glimpse of the price that art can exact.
~ Hilary Mantel The Guardian
In Cahill’s writing, the former imperial outposts have begun to communicate among themselves, bypassing the empire. Secondly, the postcolonial nation state is far less central to Cahill’s practice than it was to postcolonial writers of an earlier period. Neoliberal globalisation is the dominant context for Cahill’s short stories, not decolonisation (though the two are, of course, related). Her stories unfold in a world where the consolidation of the global market means North and South now infuse one another, ‘distributing inequalities and barriers along multiple and fractured lines’ (Hardt and Negri 333). Thus, her displaced characters cross indiscriminately between metropolis and periphery, encountering similar inequities of race, gender and class wherever they go.
~ James Halford
… to read more see James Halford’s fine review ‘Reading the South Through Northern Eyes: Jorge Luis Borges’s Australian Reception, 1962–2016’ in Australian Literary Studies
Volume 33, No. 2 — 9 July 2018