#AWW 2019 Fiona Wright
- Author: Fiona Wright
- Title: Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger (10 essays)
- Published: 2015
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly reading plan
- #AWW2019 @AusWomenWriters
- Trivia: Winner of the Kibble Literary Award 2016
- Winner 2016 Non-Fiction Book Award in the Queensland Literary Awards.
- Shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize
- Wright examines her own anorexia and the significance of hunger.
- She writes frankly and movingly about a
- …difficult and very personal subject.
- She provides insights into her reading,
- …travels and her interactions with others.
- In several essays Wright relates
- …her experience to that of characters.
- In novels there are characters who starve themselves:
- For Love Alone by Christina Stead,
- Cloudstreet by Tim Winton and
- The Bluebird Cafe by Carmel Bird.
In Colombo …malnutrition, she misses it
- First sentence: I’ll always remember the
- …particular intensity that malnutrition brings on,
- …I know that I miss it still.
- Reaction: Hunger keeps the author separate from
- the rituals of society not only in Colombo.
- 70% impressions of the writer’s apprenticeship at a newspaper
- ….30% about her illness.
In Hospital …sickest
- First Sentence: At my sickest, a lover once folded a
- blanket over my shoulderblade before curling against my back to sleep.
- Reaction: Hunger is a mediator, it stands between the author and the world. Hunger is addictive. Hunger is support, it is scaffolding. Hunger became my safest state.
- 100%….very powerful, personal and disturbing.
In Berlin …interesting facts
- First sentence: I felt smaller in Berlin than I ever had before;
- the Northern Germans are, by and large, a big-boned people,
- …the shanks of their legs are particularly impressive.
- Reaction: The author visits a labour camp, Sachsenhausen.
- The body never forgets starvation.
- Sad…the author bought food to give her
- …pantry shelves an appearance of normality.
- “I didn’t choose my hunger. That no one ever does.”
- Wright describes returning to a family she
- …lived with during her studies 10 years ago.
- She had been well then.
- She did not know what lay ahead.
In Miniature …presenting a paradox
- First sentence: It seems a strange place to start writing about the miniature,
- but I want to begin on the internet, because I found there,
- for a time, a thing I could hardly have conceived would have existed,
- a community of illness, specifically for the kinds of illnesses that
- …we often keep silent and hidden within ourselves.
- Reaction: Breathtakingly beautiful…how Fiona Wright sees her
- …fascination with miniature reflected in her illness.
- This essay was poetic!
In Increments …sickness personified “gnawing”
- I’ll never know the point where my physical illness
- ..gave way to something different,
- something more complex, but more and more I think
- …now that hunger was always with me, always
- …gnawing away somewhere in me, and my illness
- …just allowed this hunger to assert itself in the only
- …way that could possibly have been acceptable to me.
In Books I …analogy in books
- The year that I first became ill, when my physical condition first developed,
- …was the first year that I studied Australian Literature.
In Books II …analogy in books
- There are books I have had with me in
- …hospital waiting rooms that I can never re-read without re-reading, too,
- …the traces that they carry of the spaces that I took them into.
In Group ….mother vs daughter
- There are some conversation that you shouldn’t have with your mother,
- especially if you are a poet, and especially if you are a
- …poet four months into you third stint of group therapy.
In Passing …sad news
- I received the news digitally, in a text
- …from my old housemate, Kat.
In Hindsight …looking back
- I resisted, for a long time, reading any anorexia memoirs,
- …even though I’d been reading about
- ..the condition in fiction and textbooks.
- The cover of Fiona Wright’s book keeps catching my eye.
- What kind of story is behind those eyes.
- Fiona Wright (born 1983) is an Australian poet and critic.
- Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays in Hunger (2015)
- is a collection of ten essays that detail the author’s
- own experience with anorexia.
- The longest essay is ‘In Group’
- …the shortest is ‘In Passing’.
- The best? I loved them all.
- I wrote down a few words about the first few essays.
- Each one draws me in with the first sentence.
- After reading one essay
- ….I have to get up and do something else
- …I must let my thoughts settle.
- Fiona Wright has shared her life
- …stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron.
- The more Fiona thinks about her body
- the more she knows it is no longer her own.
- Her body tries to fold up at the first sign of danger
- …as if disappearing into a shell.
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