Leaving Queensland

My first book was a collection of short stories and memoir essays, published jointly with Anna Couani's long prose piece,The Train.

The book was published by a small press, Sea Cruise,  in 1983. It's out of print now but you can find it in libraries.

Extract from 'Summer in Sydney' 

At Palm Beach at six in the evening there are people playing football, flying kites, rolling around in the sand in an inner tube. We wonder if they’re Christians; very few people hang round in large groups looking lively these days. They don’t come from Darlinghurst. But we’re tourists ourselves. The water is warm, and there’s very little undertow, but there’s a slight drift north. Half an hour ago when we went into the water the swimmers were south of us, now they’re right in front. In another hour or so they might all disappear behind Barrenjoey into the mouth of Broken Bay, shouting and laughing, while we have moved over to the Pittwater side of the peninsula, and are eating chips and drinking beer, watching the windsurfers and the sun going down behind West Head. This is the life...

Some of this is already in the head. There were times when the mind drifted, weightless, in certain moments, the slanting light in the afternoons, the long blue evenings. We had a good time, mostly, then we packed it in and went back to work. The pages fill with names and ‘facts’ and the pile of newsprint grows in the corner; there is no one thing that will tell you, but we wait for something still under the surface that meets in between the words. When we touch each other we imagine we are part of something, but still whole on our own. Do you feel my history, and its tricks, when you run your hand over my skin? Sometimes we don’t understand, sometimes we do but it’s not quite possible to speak or act directly out of it. It may not be as clear as you wanted but it’s there. Say it: this is what we are; this is what is going on.

Extracts from Reviews

"Barbara Brooks and Anna Couani are two of the most exciting short fiction writers in Australia..." Barbara Hanrahan, National Times. 

[Barbara Brooks' work is] forceful, political, genuinely and underivatively experimental." Don Anderson, National Times. 

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