Steeplechase, a novel by Brisbane-based writer Krissy Kneen, explores the relationships between many things: between sisters Bec and Emily, between art and madness, and between the past and present. Bec, a painter and tertiary art teacher living in Brisbane, receives a phone call from her estranged sister Emily while recovering from surgery. Emily, an acclaimed artist and now living in Beijing, invites Bec to visit her for the opening of a new show. With this, Bec is confronted by an awful past, some great and terrible event during their isolated childhood in rural Queensland that drove the two sisters apart.
There’s something about reading Banana Yoshimoto’s books that has always made me feel as though I’m reading a love letter to my twenties. Lizard, a collection of six short stories published when Yoshimoto was twenty-nine (she penned the Japanese edition’s afterword on her way to a Sonic Youth concert, and dedicated the American edition to Kurt Cobain, BANANA GURL WHY ARE YOU SO COOL) perfectly encapsulates why. Continue reading