In 2006, Tara June Winch’s startling debut Swallow the Air was published to acclaim. Its poetic yet visceral style announced the arrival afresh and exciting new talent. This 10th anniversary edition celebrates its important contribution to Australian literature.
When May’s mother dies suddenly, she and her brother Billy are taken in by Aunty. However, their loss leaves them both searching for their place in a world that doesn’t seem to want them. While Billy takes his own destructive path, May sets out to find her father and her Aboriginal identity.
Her journey leads her from the Australian east coast to the far north, but it is the people she meets, not the destinations, that teach her what it is to belong.
Swallow the Air is an unforgettable story of living in a torn world and finding the thread to help sew it back together.
‘I love the restraint with language and her control, and the way she makes small observations count. It’s spare, thoughtful writing, clever but never about showing off.’ Weekend Australian
‘Her writing is raw and sparky, her prose so charged with energy that it bursts, Melville-like, into occasional poetic firestorms …’ Age
‘Tara June Winch’s heartfelt Swallow the Air (UQP) is the work of a writer blessed with great natural talent and a good ear for dialect.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘… Tara June Winch’s writing is startling: visceral, fresh and poetic.’ Vogue Australia