ArtView January 2016 - Page 18

novels have an almost relentless thematic consistency and a strikingly similar darkness of vision. Harrower’s scalpel-sharp writing is electrifying in form, content and observation, but also capable of creating an atmosphere, in the reader, of acute horror; an almost fight or flight response. As Fiona McGregor in her foreword to the re-published edition of The Long Prospect notes, “I keep laughing and cringing.” When you close the cover of a Harrower novel, you marvel at her ability to see us: the airless worlds we create, our pre-occupations and vanities, our infinite games and cruelties, and our endless willingness to abase and be abased. That Harrower is now being recognised as a giant of our literary canon, at last, and so late, is like the kind of cruel plot twist that often features in one of her own stories. Read more about Elizabeth Harrower and her novels at: elizabethharrower Elizabeth Harrower's novel In Certain Circles was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2015. Rebecca Lim's novel The Astrologer's Daughter was also shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2015 for Young Adult fiction.