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On fire

Dyschronia has been shortlisted for another award, this time the Fiction category of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature!

I am thrilled of course, and want to thank the judges and congratulate everyone who made the shortlists. I also long for a day when the book becomes less relevant, a historical document about a time when we used to fail to understand the implications of our actions…

Instead, Australia is on fire.

I generally keep my writer self and my volunteer firefighting self pretty separate. Watching the terror and intensity of Australia’s current bushfire season unfold, in particular watching the way that volunteers are being abandoned by a government that refuses to help with resources let alone discuss the climate emergency, silence is not an option I can wear. So when the Adelaide Review asked me to write something for them on the subject I couldn’t say no. Here it is, written a couple of weeks ago before the PM went to Hawaii in the middle of a national emergency and several people including two young firefighters died. My heart goes out to their families and to all the brigades out there risking life and limb.

There are no climate denialists on the end of a fire hose

Here in Italy we have had major flooding – the Po burst its banks and a weekend trip to Venice last month turned into an adventure in a labyrinth of the Anthropocene, which I’ve been writing about in a long essay that I hope will appear early next year. Standing in floodwaters checking on family in NSW felt both strange and galvanising. I’ve been to several climate strikes here and the courage of young people to take up this fight gives me courage too.

I wish you all a safe break, and may you get a bit of rest between smoke, fire and heatwaves, if you’re in Australia. May some much needed change come out of all this, and soon.

Sharing a post from seven months ago again, because it sums up many of my feelings about 2019: The other side of climate grief is climate fury