Publisher: Transit Lounge
Published: September 2022
Alan Fyfe’s debut novel T is immersed in the world of Timothy Ami, or ‘T’, a youth meth dealer/user servicing the Peel region. The novel is meditative and lyrical, affording a dignity to drug-using characters without romanticising their experience. Fyfe’s Mandurah becomes its own microcosm, where we meet meth-users who are also asbestos removalists, abattoir workers, former nurses, camping store managers, academics, FIFO workers, writers, and artists. Free of judgement or proselytising, this novel allows characters to simply exist. We sometimes hear their philosophies and stories via ‘meth rants’, and at other times wonder how their lives became as they are.
This is a uniquely Western Australian story, addressing the very real issue of methamphetamine use in this state. However, the book also has global concerns, about art, community, meaning-making, compassion, suicide, Indigenous histories, and intergenerational trauma.
Not a novel for those who want pacy plots, neat endings, or clear messages about redemption, T could be a page-turner for different reasons. In the right hands, at the right time, this is a novel that might quietly change lives.