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The Father of Octopus Wrestling, and other small fictions


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The Father of Octopus Wrestling, and other small fictions by Frankie McMillan
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Darkly comic, surreal and full of perceptiveness about human vulnerability and eccentricity, Frankie McMillan's small fictions often duck and dive away from the reader's expectations. With a poet's sense of how single words or phrases ripple out with alternate meanings, and a dramatist's feeling for how apparently small gestures reveal character, and how sudden, cataclysmic change can wrench us out of comfort, routine and unthinking assumptions, the author leaves us ransacking the language for finer genre definitions. This collection teems with both the animal world and a vivid circus of quirky human individuals. The pieces globe-trot all over the planet: from Russia to America to New Zealand; and yet often their piquant wisdom comes from how they bear down into `micro-geography' of intimate relationships: the troughs, peaks, cliff-sides, the warm, still pools of recognition. Frankie McMillan is like a quietly outrageous Zen master, showing us human folly and idiocy, steering us carefully over the dark river of vulnerability that swells under it all. `The Father of Octopus Wrestling, and other small fictions' is an artisan production, designed and printed by Ilam Press, Ilam School of Fine Arts.

Author Biography

Frankie McMillan's last collection My Mother and the Hungarians, and other small fictions (CUP, 2016) was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. She co-edited Bonsai: Best small stories from Aotearoa New Zealand (CUP, 2018). Her stories have been published in Flash Fiction International (WW Norton, 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2017 (Braddock Avenue Books). McMillan's poetry collections include There are no horses in heaven (CUP, 2014), and her poems have been selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2012 and 2015. In 2013 and 2015 she was the winner of the New Zealand Flash Fiction Award. She held the Ursula Bethell residency at the University of Canterbury in 2014 and the Michael King Writers' Centre/University of Auckland residency in 2017. She currently teaches at the Hagley Writers' Institute.
Release date Australia
November 30th, 2019
Country of Publication
New Zealand
Canterbury University Press
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