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Lottie is fascinated with death. She collects birds, lizards and other small dead animals she finds, trying preserve them, to hold onto the life they once had. Her aunt tries to put a stop to this worrying obsession, but her father can see a scientist’s mind at work, and he introduces her to the art of taxidermy.
For Lottie, the beauty and tenderness she finds in her preserved creatures provide a way for her to feel close to the mother she lost.
The Art of Taxidermy is an exquisitely imagined verse novel about sadness and loss, and the way art and beauty can help us make sense of it all.
‘Completely mesmerising, fresh and unexpected.’
‘An intense exploration of grief.’
‘[An] exquisite lyrical verse novel…[A] sharply evocative tale.’
‘The work couples the swift, clipped charm of a verse novel and the unpredictable beauty of the Australian landscape in a captivating manner that showcases an author entirely comfortable with her form…Lingers in the mind for weeks afterwards.’
‘Kernot has created an intriguing tale of mystery and the imagination with a haunting ambience that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe would recognise and admire…this is a delightful story about grief transformed and the urge to resurrect and to re-create.’
‘This book is beautifully written…while the novel is about grief, it is also about the importance of remembering and keeping the memory of loved ones alive.’
‘In lyrical language, Kernot draws a comparison between the Australian bush and death: both are beautiful and desolate at once.’
‘Kernot’s writing is imbued with life and grace and moments of infectious joy.’