UQP – 2012
Shortlisted for the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards, Steele Rudd Award for an Australian Short Story Collection
Longlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award
A GIRL SEARCHES for her lost grandmother while her parents quarrel at home; a young architect finds herself entangled by a strange commission; a man contemplates inertia after toxic fallout changes life in a remote Australian town; a woman imagines a mother’s love for her autistic son.
The award-winning stories in The Rest is Weight reflect Jennifer Mills’ years in Central Australia, as well as her travels to Mexico, Russia and China. Sometimes dreamy and hypnotic, sometimes dark, comic and wry, Mills weaves themes of longing, alienation, delusion, resilience, and love. Collected or on their own, these stories are both a joy and a wonder to read.
“By shifting, in subtle ways, the ground beneath our feet, Mills also allows our certainties about what is concrete and tangible – about the world in which we believe we’re living – to fall away, and we find ourselves immersed in spaces that are – disconcertingly – both recognisable and inexplicable.
Every word Mills writes seems deliberately placed, and her writing manages to be both precise and rich in subtext… this is writing that sings.”
– Canberra Times
“Sharp as acid, surreal, dreamy, other-worldly, bitingly familiar, so Australian and wickedly entertaining.”
– Geelong Advertiser
“It’s immediately clear that we’re in the hands of a professional writer, a craftsperson who cares deeply for language and for her characters.
Mills is a poet, and this is evident in the cool brevity and precision of the words she chooses… thoughtful and filmic, the language is nattily coiled, and the stories have depth.”
– The Australian
“[A] skilled and exacting collection… daring, unsettling and assured.”
“One by one, the characters take us into their interior worlds, casting us loose within a universe scarred by unease… it’s almost impossible to put down. Mills is a compelling storyteller with her own defined style and unflinching eye; her finely crafted words become salve for the wounds.”
– The Age
“Fearless… I am rather surprised this book hasn’t been greeted more noisily. Nam Le lifted the bar, but Jennifer Mills has certainly risen to it, with a tough, unsentimental grace and storytelling gifts to burn.”