Vigil and other stories
These fifteen stories range in time from contemporary Australia to sixties Britain, in location from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains to France. In the title story, a woman sits each day at the bedside of her comatose former lover as he clings to life, her only consolation in the long hours of watching and waiting are the novels of Leo Tolstoy, and food. In ‘Beloved Man’, a lonely and socially inept bachelor living in the outer suburbs of Sydney seeks companionship on an internet dating site, with shattering consequences when he chooses a Russian bride. In ‘Deep End’, Danny and Michael, two rascally young sons of a single mother in England in the fifties, have their first encounter with love at a crowded swimming pool during a heatwave. The admirer of an Aboriginal writer makes a pilgrimage to the author’s home to talk about her latest book and ends up with a dead dog in his arms when he becomes involved in a bizarre burial in the dark comedy ‘The Dog’. Youssef, a thirteen-year-old Moroccan boy who is small for his age is forced by an aunt to accompany her to the females-only session at the bathhouse so she can save money, resulting in a humiliating and hilarious encounter that plagues him the rest of his life. Some of the tales in Vigil are sad, some are funny, some are both. All are full of humanity and a love for life.