A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop

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Itll all be okay, my mother said, and I remember the way her familiar face scrunched, afterwards “ reflected back at me, in the fogged bathroom mirror, when she thought I couldnt see.Before the fire “ before the front of flames roars over the hills”the ridge is thick with gums. After the fire, all the birds have gone. There is only ash and melted metal, the blackened husks of cars. And the lost people: on the TV news in borrowed clothes, in temporary accommodation on the outskirts of the city, or remembered in small offerings outside the town hall.A Constant Hum grapples with the aftermath of bushfire with an eye for the telling detail. Some of these stories cut to the bone; others are empathetic tales of survival, even hope. All are gripping and stunningly written, heralding the arrival of a vital new voice in Australian fiction.