Publisher: Transit Lounge
Pushing Back comprises thirty-seven gems of fiction by John Kinsella; one of Australia’s literary treasures. While characters, eras, settings, and forms vary, the stories throughout examine human behaviour with unsettling, often funny, and frequently dark familiarity. Pushing Back also addresses the complex and difficult relationship we in this post-colonial place have with the land. The concept of holding on against the odds is a strong undercurrent throughout the book – wilderness reasserts itself; farmers change ways in response to natural and ethical pressures; the downtrodden, weakened, different, or simply unlucky find ways to stand up to violence, or simply to keep going. Especially poignant are stories such as ‘Backstroke’ and ‘Surrounded’ which depict the struggle of young people traversing the treacherous path out of childhood, and Kinsella’s descriptions of the land, skies, and wildlife in the farming regions he himself grew up in sing.