Jennifer Mills' eagerly-awaited collection, The Rest is Weight, displays the confident diversity of narrative voices and brevity in style that have already brought her recognition as a talented voice on the Australian literary scene.
Captured in these award-winning stories are Mills' years in Central Australia, as well as her travels to Mexico, Russia and China. In The wind and other children, a girl searches for her lost grandmother while her parents quarrel at home; in Extra time, a man contemplates inertia after toxic contamination changes life in a remote Australian town; a woman imagines a mother's love for her autistic son in The air you need; and in Hello, Satan, a boy awaits his destiny at a roundabout at midnight.
For Mills, short stories are an endless source of joy and curiosity; she sees them as a place to experiment and to take risks. As she says, 'I really enjoy the possibilities of playing with suspension of disbelief, working in the liminal space between realism and surrealism. I also love the way short stories can float in a place of uncertainty; the best ones leave their essences unspoken.'
In exploring the human, Mills deftly weaves themes of longing, alienation, delusion, resilience, and love. Sometimes dreamy and hypnotic, sometimes comic and wry, these stories leave their mark. Collected or on their own, Mills' fiction is both a joy and a wonder to read.
Jennifer Mills is the author of two novels, Gone (UQP, 2011) and The Diamond Anchor (UQP, 2009), and a chapbook of poems, Treading Earth (Press Press, 2009). She was the winner of the 2008 Marian Eldridge Award for Young Emerging Women Writers, the Pacific Region of the 2008-9 Commonwealth Short Story Competition, and the 2008 Northern Territory Literary Awards: Best Short Story. Mills was Asialink writer in residence in Beijing in 2010. Her work has appeared in Meanjin, Hecate, Overland, Heat, Griffith Review, Best Australian Stories and New Australian Stories 2. Mills lives in South Australia.
The Rest is Weight
University of Queensland Press
Author: Jennifer Mills