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White Turtle: A Collection of Short Stories

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
An anomalous kiss. A white turtle ferrying the dreams of the dead. A working siesta in a five-star hotel. A woman’s 12-meter hair trawling corpses from a river. Or a queue of longings in Darlinghurst. These enigmatic tales of chance and hope are among 23 stories set in the Philippines and Australia. Alternately mythic, wistful or quirky, Merlinda Bobis’s tales resonate wit ...more
Paperback, Philippine edition published by De La Salle University Press, Inc., 189 pages
Published 1999 by Spinifex Press
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Bill Brydon
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"...he felt as if the white turtle had somersaulted into his eyes. That night of the readings, it dived into him again, down to the depth of his irises, as he acted as interpreter. After she sang each scene, he would read his translation. Theirs was a dialogue in two tongues blending and counterpointing. Strange to hear the turtle voice in English, Lola Basyon thought. She rather liked its sound though— I am your cradle rocking your babydreams past anemone; the hundred fingers
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We studied this at university. Lots of magic realism, and an amazing imagination. Really nice author who took the time to provide us with a lecture ... recommended.
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Merlinda Carullo Bobis is a contemporary Philippine-Australian writer and academic. Also a dancer and visual artist, Bobis currently teaches at Wollongong University.

Born in Legaspi City, in the Philippines province of Albay, Merlinda Bobis attended Bicol University High School then completed her B.A. at Aquinas University in Legaspi City. She holds post-graduate degrees from the University of San
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“Palm sex. Rings a bell, I know, what with the joke about Mrs Palmer and her five lovely daughters. Wish I could find that funny, but like the act it’s too obvious and predictable. Fondle-rub-oooh-fondle-rub-rub-hah-hah-hah-hah-oooooooooh God! And you’re not even Catholic. But palm sex is something else. It’s the act of any stranger sucking the centre of your palm, where the lifeline and heartline intersect, to draw out the nasty ache hiding there. A thorn or sliver of glass or wood or the thinnest chip of china from the last decent plate in the house after one of its creatures had lost her temper. I” 0 likes
“Indeed, on their respective days of owning the tongue, each of the neighbours could not help but echo the mouth of the previous owner. The Italian family eventually developed a taste for the occasional cardamom tea, the Filipino adventurously spread some Vegemite on his pan de sal and, at one time, the Australian couple stirred fish heads into their sour soup. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan began hosting summer feasts by the barbie, and the Turkish baker even serenaded his wife with songs about love and volcanoes as he prepared a tray of almond biscotti for the oven. You see, the tongue had an excellent memory. Even when it had moved to a new mouth, it still evoked the breath of spices, sweets and syllables of the former host. It was never known to forget anything, least of all the fact that it was once the soft, pink flesh of a South Coast mollusc; it yielded itself to a higher good one winter night when the ocean was formidably wild.” 0 likes
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