Literature is a key tool to connect people from all places with other cultures, stories, and histories. Thus, the popularity that American and English writers and stories have had in the last centuries has been undeniably successful in their sales numbers and their popularity worldwide, as well as their quickness of spreading their Anglophone literature around the globe. Therefore, on some level Australian literature has most definitely come a bit short in their representation of print media and both e-books.
Thus, Australian literature did not have the amount of presence in print media until a couple of decades ago. Due to the variety of different literature options such as podcasts, graphic novels, movies and TV shows Australian fiction has been able to spread quicker, particularly throughout the last years.
For some readers, a new story might be in their spectrum of interest but due to the lack of advertisement of Australian literature in media and bookstores, they might never stumble across them. Therefore, short stories are a great possibility to intrigue and draw in new readers and audiences to catch attention of Australian literature.
In a world which is dominated by English and American literature, Australian short stories are a great option for a different approach to the Anglophone literature world. The value of short stories should not be underestimated. Their importance should be acknowledged because they can help readers to get an insight into some topics that can be overseen at times. Examples of these are marginalized voices such as Indigenous, queer, and women narratives which have been drawing a lot of attention.
However, short stories should not be perceived as a transit to lengthier books etc. Short stories can capture just as important themes and motifs that readers are used to from novels for instance. Topics such as and content regarding the Indigenous people of Australia or horror stories with traditional myths and legends can be intriguing for some readers.
There is a wide range of different topics to choose from because if there is one thing that is great about Australian literature and short stories; it is the variety and representation of different groups of people.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a notable Australian author, whose short story is definitely worth taking a look at. The summary and brief introductions will not include spoilers – because to be honest, who likes spoilers anyways? The story will be so much more enjoyable to read first-hand instead of reading about them.
The short story is called “Wife to Mr Lovecraft” and was written by New Zealand-born author Lucy Sussex. Her work has specifically been associated with feminist science fiction, the history of women’s writing and Australian.
As the title of the short story indicates, Sussex wrote a tribute story about H.P. Lovecraft’s wife Sonia Lovecraft. In April 2021, she published a tweet, where she states, ”I had the good fun of writing a Lovecraft tribute story in postcards from Sonia Lovecraft. She was quite a personality.” Although the story was about Lovecraft’s ex-wife Sonia Greene, the postcards and the story take place after their split and during her marriage to Dr. Nathaniel Abraham Davis. The short story also refers to the promise H.P. Lovecraft gave to his wife Sonia regarding their divorce. Due to circumstances and a form that had not been signed by Lovecraft, the marriage was never legally annulled. The story gives the reader a chance to touch upon a perspective, which has formerly only been given to Lovecraft himself.
Now, it is time for Sonia to share her thoughts and feelings – even if only in fiction.
Sussex’s short story gives an interesting, fictional insight to H.P. Lovecraft and his ex-wife Sonia’s postcard exchange. It is an interesting and beautiful diffusion between an Australia-based author, who touches upon the story of one of the most renowned American authors of history and his successful, businesswoman and writer (ex-)wife, Sonia Greene.