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In the 1980s in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner, Josie’s father is drinking himself to an ugly and appalling death. Josie’s mother is a factory machinist, bringing home piecework to keep the family afloat.
And Josie is surviving, or not—self-destructive sex, excessive alcohol, drugs, brutalised friendships.
But her internal monologue—intense, immediate and raw—reveals a heartbreaking portrait of an intelligent young woman desperately looking for a way to make sense of her life, grappling with her feelings of repulsion and love for her father and her longing to be loved.
First published in 1998, Losing It is a vivid and visceral account of 1980s working-class Melbourne and a coming-of-age story that is both familiar and unique, shocking and intimate.
‘I read it in a gulp. I seem to know this girl.’
‘Stark, poetic, truthful, compassionate; self-knowledge comes at a breathtaking pace.’
‘Addictive, powerful and raw, Losing It lays bare the unflinching realities for a teenager trapped in a spiral of self-destruction. Who does not see some of herself in Josie, a heroine for our uncertain times?’