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Tarcutta Wake, Stories

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A mother moves north with her young children, who watch her and try to decipher her buried grief.

Two photographers document a nation’s guilt in pictures of its people’s hands.

An underground club in Western Australia plays jazz to nostalgic patrons dreaming of America’s Deep South.

A young woman struggles to define herself among the litter of objects an ex-lover has left
Paperback, 104 pages
Published October 2012 by UQP (University of Queensland Press) (first published July 30th 2012)
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I am halfway through this collection and every time I pick it up I feel a sense of dreamy, slow peace settling over me. I'm in love with it. I'm parceling out the remaining stories so I can keep this sensation for as long as possible.
Michael Livingston
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
100 pages of precise, aching, beauty. A re-read, years later and it cut in even deeper than I remember.
Debbie Robson
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some time ago, I’m guessing probably around publication of Tarcutta Wake, I read a review saying Josephine Rowe’s short story collection was slight. Slight in content, not just size. (Or at least that’s how I read the review). For a while afterwards I pondered on the word slight. In what way was it slight? Was the reviewer actually one who disliked short prose and therefore was grudging in his review despite the content? I could search out more details but won’t bother now. I was intrigued enoug ...more
Jen Squire
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A few months ago Else Fitzgerald, a fellow intern with Writers Victoria, recommended Josephine Rowe to me. Actually it was more like an insistence, that Rowe and Angela Meyer were huge influences on her and I was almost failing in my duties not to have read her. Well not that far, but having read 'Tarcutta Wake', that's how I feel. That as a short story writer and reader, I should have read this sooner.

I wrote so many notes as I was reading this collection, jots about what I can learn in terms o
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I had planned that this collection of short stories by Josephine Rowe would be a guest review by the Queen of Short Story Reviewing Karenlee Thompson, but the book is a convenient handbag size, and it seemed to slip in so easily, for ‘just in case I find myself stuck somewhere with nothing to read’ …

And when recently my day got into a bit of a muddle because of a change in time for the dogs’ appointment at the beauty parlour, I found myself killing time in a local cafe, yes, needing something t
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Anton Chekhov put it this way: “Tear your story in half and start in the middle.”

That’s probably the best way to describe micro-fiction, a particular literary style that favours brevity and everything left unsaid. It is a literary form with no particular word limit (can be 300 words, but some also consider a 1000-word piece to be micro-fiction) but it is most definitely a style that Australian short-story writer Josephine Rowe exquisitely excels at.

I stumbled across Rowe’s first collection of mi
Lyndon Walker
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A SLIGHT REFLECTION - NOT A REVIEW....There will be many far more informed reviews of this book than mine. Josephine is currently the darling young thing of the Australian Literary scene - something which must be good to experience in the first blush of flirtation with the literati, but can carry a sting in the tail if one doesn't follow through and fulfill one's young promise. I take note of my housemate's initial response sometimes. She declared: "I noticed it on your couch and picked it up an ...more
Maree Kimberley
Not all stories are driven by 'and then what happened?'. Some are about the spaces in between, the small, quiet, but often tense moments just after or leading up to a big event.

This is what the prose pieces in Tarcutta Wake, by Josephine Rowe, do: describe the shades of realisation of the enormity of how, in the in between spaces, we realised that things have irrevocably changed. They are snippets of conversation, the capturing of an emotion, epiphanies of loss or sadness.

Some of the stories ar
Catherine Bateson
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I love micro fiction/flash fiction/prose poetry but I felt that some, not all, but some of these stories didn't stretch enough. They were too fragmentary and I wasn't allowed to have as much invested in the characters as I needed to have. I wasn't given enough time or reason to get to know them.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
it's very rare that I want to mark up and dog ear a book. I didn't, but I wanted to.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful collection of microfiction from Josephine Rowe. Such short stories or vignettes but they transport you in a moment and elegantly reveal their hearts and ghosts.
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This took me a long time to read because I read it out loud, one story at a time, to my husband at bed-time over the course of months. It is a brilliant read-out-loud book, and if you're going to read it i recommend doing it that way, even if just to yourself. Your mouth will thank you; it will feel special and profound as it reads these beautiful, miraculous words and sentences. If the stories made more sense I might have liked them less, but as it was I adored their shard-like, unfathomable na ...more
4ZZZ Book Club
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, interviews
Josephine Rowe is a Melbourne-based author whose second collection, Tarcutta Wake, is a beautiful and haunting collection of very short stories.

Grace interviewed Josephine Rowe about the art of the short form, writing from personal experience and the draw of the melancholy. Josephine also did a reading of the short story "Brisbane". Originally broadcast on the Book Club on 25 October 2012.
Darby Hudson
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Now one of my fave all-time books. I revisited this a few years later (this week, actually) and it continues to astonish with buried treasure, partly due to the masterfully unseen, below-the-surface, inner-workings of each story - so there is so much from seemingly so little - each bloom in the brain. Her stories make me deeply nostalgic for a past that I never knew or shared. My favourite books have always given me a dreamy sense of 'home' I never lived: this is one.
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Powerful and arresting stories from a very talented new writer.
Jess Tait
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is just...amazing. Rowe is a talented and accomplished writer who has mastered the art of micro fiction. I am inspired. Highly recommend.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely lovely.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Josephine Rowe, you are my idol.
Sarah Stahl
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Like nothing I've ever read before. Little snippets of stories that make you come up with your own beginning and ending, Josephine Rowe has already supplied the middle.
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Dec 27, 2015
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Apr 27, 2014
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Aug 16, 2012
Timothy Robb
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Jan 29, 2019
Courtney Carlson
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Sep 22, 2014
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Oct 01, 2015
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Jul 22, 2017
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Stories about being human, written with compassion, skill and a deft touch.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 17, 2012
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Josephine Rowe is the author of three story collections and a novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal (UQP, 2016). She holds fellowships from the Wallace Stegner program at Stanford University and the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. She currently lives in Melbourne.

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