New On The Bookshelf
Breath & Shadow
"A Certain Loneliness" by Sandra Gail Lambert
"After contracting polio as a child, Sandra Gail Lambert progressed from braces and crutches to a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair—but loneliness has remained a constant, from the wild claustrophobia of a child in body casts to just yesterday, trapped at home, gasping from pain. A Certain Loneliness is a meditative and engaging memoir-in-essays that explores the intersection of disability, queerness, and desire with frankness and humor.
Lambert presents the adventures of flourishing within a world of uncertain tomorrows: kayaking alone through swamps with alligators; negotiating planes, trains, and ski lifts; scoring free drugs from dangerous men; getting trapped in a too-deep snow drift without crutches. A Certain Loneliness is literature of the body, palpable and present, in which Lambert’s lifelong struggle with isolation and independence—complete with tiresome frustrations, slapstick moments, and grand triumphs—are wound up in the long history of humanity’s relationship to the natural world."
"A Journey to Glory" by Mark Cornell
(Short stories, Ginnadera Press)
Spanning five stages of life, A Journey to Glory features stories from childhood up to middle age. The book is full of love and awe for the beauty of the landscape, and at times aware of its ability to destroy. All the characters are aware that they are a part of nature and that she tends to intrude if you dare ignore her. One character thinks he is a fish, one talks to magpies, another finds himself dancing with the fairies of Ireland. These are Celtic-Australian stories full of families, lovers, enchantment, humor and the perspective of the outsider. The stories are mainly about outer suburban life, where nature is never far away. However, some of them fly off to strange realms outside the city - places where the author had no idea he’d end up.
"Julia and the Moonbirds" by Mark Cornell
(fiction, Ginnadera Press)
New Year’s Eve 1969. Feisty, red-haired Julia King places her drunken arm around the shoulders of shy Shane McCarthy and invites him to join her band the Moonbirds. Man has just set foot on the moon; huge crowds march through the capital cities of the world to protest against the Vietnam War. Both teenagers are from the backwaters of Portmagee, a coastal town in south-west Victoria. Their homeland is dotted with hallowed grounds, where, if you listen, you can hear the hymns of land and tide. Julia’s clan come from the Dreamtime and shipwrecks; Shane’s, Irish migrants fleeing the Famine. Music courses through the blood of both of these kids. A rock band offers the opportunity to realise the ultimate dream. Together they create a unique sound which they take to the rest of the world. Join their odyssey of love, ambition and creativity, where they conquer, but pay an unforeseen cost.
Part of our mission at Breath and Shadow is to promote the work of writers with disabilities. In this section, we highlight a few titles written by people who have contributed work to our journal.