In our cabin at BIG4 Nambucca Beach Park I actually was able to do a lot of reading. I had taken “All the Birds, Singing” along. I had started reading this novel some time ago, but had not read very much of it yet. Our double bed had very good reading lamps on each side above the bed. So both Peter and I felt encouraged to spend quite a bit of time reading. My book did get extremely interesting and I could not put it down anymore. Each day, that is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I was reading, reading, reading. We had to leave the cabin Thursday morning. Alas, I got to the last pages on Wednesday and finished reading this book. I learned about the fate of a girl from Australia, who went through some horrible experiences. But in the end it only made her stronger. She became a sheep farmer and owned her own farm on a very lonely island. At first I thought how can a life like this be very interesting? This story is told in the first person. It was absolutely captivating to gradually find out what happened to her as a child and during her teenage years.
Below I copied a bit from an interview at the Sydney Writers’ Festival:
On Writing Novels & Endings with Evie Wyld at Sydney Writers’ Festival
The Roslyn Packer Theatre was abuzz with chatter, much about Evie Wyld and her latest novel All the Birds, Singing. There’s often much contention about the ending, and while people tossed up theories and commented on Wyld’s Miles Franklin win, the lights went down and Evie stepped onto the stage.
With her fringe and bright yellow shoes she was already a character in herself. And throughout the hour, Wyld spoke with wit and wisdom (my notes are a slanted scribble that’s hard to decipher; a testament to the great things I heard and couldn’t get down quick enough).
Gothic and Horror as a Modern Genre
Wyld started by reading from her novel, All the Birds Singing, emphasising the imagery of death and blood, bringing a chill and a hush over the theatre. The first question asked was about the gothic canon, and how Wyld has used horror as a genre in a contemporary way. I’d never thought of All the Birds, Singing as a gothic novel and having it pointed out (and listening to Wyld read), it seemed rather obvious! The moody English island, the dark past, the mangled deaths of sheep…