The acclaimed debut novel from the 2014 Miles Franklin Award-winning author
Evie Wyld is a young Australian bookseller, living in London. Her work has been published in Granta and in other literary magazines. AFTER THE FIRE, A STILL SMALL VOICE is her first novel and was published to international acclaim in 2009. It won the John Llewellyn Rhys Literary Prize for Best Fiction. She is currently working on her second novel.
Evie Wyld has dual nationality and with the publication of her first novel it is likely both countries will want to claim her as their own. She grew up in London, with an Australian mother and British father, and has spent periods in Australia. After the Fire is set on the east coast of Australia. The effects of war-alienation, silence, anger-are passed down like a disease through generations of men in the Collard family. Leon's parents are Dutch refugees running a bakery in Parramatta when his father enlists for the Korean War. Leon is conscripted for the Vietnam War, well aware from his father of how the mind comes back twisted out of shape. Frank Collard is Leon's son, running away to a shack on the coast the Collard grandparents had used as their own refuge. Chapters alternate between Leon and Frank, their stories weaving across time. The reader has insight into the Collards, father and son, that neither will ever have of the other, though the final chapter is hopeful. Ancillary characters like young Sal Haydon and her pet carrot, and Merle the Christian, enrich and enliven a tale that is, inevitably, about so much more than inarticulate men. A fine debut. Kerry White is a bibliographer and a major contributor to The Source, an online resource