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Before the bushfires—before the front of flames comes roaring over the hills—the ridges are thick with gums.
After the fires, the birds have gone. There is only grey ash and melted metal, the blackened husks of cars.
And the lost people: in temporary accommodation on the outskirts of the city, on the TV news in borrowed clothes, or remembered in flyers on a cafe wall.
A Constant Hum grapples with the aftermath of disaster with an eye for telling detail. Some of these stories cut to the bone; others are empathetic stories of survival, even hope.
All are gripping and beautifully written, heralding the arrival of an important new voice in literary fiction.
INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS
‘These kaleidoscopic visions of fire, trauma and loss twist into a closely observed chronicle of people and place—of humanity and hope. Dazzling writing, acutely attentive to simple truths.’
‘A Constant Hum is a beautiful book—often understated, but all the more devastating for this. The stories are delicate and keenly observed, exploring the difficult territories of grief and loss, homesickness and fear, and an enduring human resilience that always comes at a cost. Bishop is an elegant and lyrical writer, and these are finely wrought and tender stories, always pulsing with empathy and a lingering hope, even in the face of extremity and great pain.’
‘A Constant Hum is a remarkable work of fiction, producing a suite of stories dealing with the fundamental human concerns of love, grief and recovery. Alice Bishop has the capacity to convey such emotions with tenderness, a lightness of touch and true craft. She is a writer of the highest quality.’
‘In this resonant collection, Bishop gives both scope and startling immediacy to one of Victoria’s darkest days. These are indelible lives, and A Constant Hum is an essential, intimate charting of the farthest reaches of devastation and hope.’
‘A Constant Hum brings the reality of bushfire to life and should be compulsory reading for all Australians, especially city-dwellers.’