August Books 5) Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan

A few years back, the first story in this collection, “Singing My Sister Down” (probably the most moving story ever to be written about a ritual execution) got a lot of attention and award nominations (sadly didn’t win as many as it should have). It is of a piece with the other stories in the book, a set of pieces of lyrical magical realism, from the point of view of outsiders and unheard voices, all rather thrilling and engaging.

It was a bit unfortunate for Nevil Shute that I was doing this as an accidental paired reading with On The Beach; they share a largely Australian background, but Lanagan’s prose is much more profound. (I don’t recommend that anyone else try repeating the experiment.)

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