Australian writer of books for younger readers, young adults, verse novels and poetry.

Daisy Johnson in 5 bites

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  1. Since the publication of her first book of short stories, Fen,¬†2016,¬† Johnson has consistently experimented with form, genre and the foundation of her narratives. The standout story in that collection is ‘Fen’ which explores teenage anorexia through a surreal, folkloric lens. Everything Under, 2018 (shortlisted for the Man Booker) is a contemporary re-telling of the Oedipus myth, exploring a fraught mother/daughter relationship. With Sisters, 2020, Johnson ventures into gothic territory.
  2. Her work is beautifully grounded in place – the fenlands and the canals feature in her earlier work. Sisters features the classic gothic trope – a haunted house – but it’s seen through the eyes of a teenager girl and the benign landscape outside where teenage rites of passage take place becomes eerily malevolent.
  3. Johnson is adept at reclaiming the child or teenage voice and using confidently to narrate adult fiction.
  4. She is a young writer, flexing her writing muscles and this promises us more intriguing forays into genre cherry-picking works in the future.
  5. The ending of Sisters¬† – there was a choice! Do you hate or love Johnson’s decision? Leave your opinion in the comments!

For my money, Daisy Johnson’s the kind of writer who inspires me to think more widely – and wildly – about the possibilities of fiction. I feel myself itching to clear off my desk and burrow into new, dark territories.


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