Evie Wyld’s After the Fire, a Still Small Voice was one of my favourite reads of 2009; so naturally I’ve been looking forward to her second novel, All the Birds, Singing (published in June). Her Granta piece, ‘After the Hedland’, is taken from that novel. We meet Jake, a woman on a sheep station somewhere in Australia; she’s on the run, but her past is about to catch up with her.
‘After the Hedland’ is perhaps best seen as a portrait of a period in Jake’s life. Wyld captures the rough edges and physicality of Jake’s work and lifestyle. Jake herself proves to be an intriguing character: I ended up wanting to know more about where she’d come from and where she was going – which takes me back to anticipating the novel once more.
This is part of a series of posts on Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4. Click here to read the rest.
I’ve now read All the Birds, Singing, and you’ll find my review here. Doing that has certainly changed the context of ‘After the Hedland’ – I don’t think I twigged that its three sections were arranged in reverse chronological order, for one thing. And my comment about wanting to know more about where Jake had come from and where she was going makes me smile now I’ve read the book; unwittingly, I was closer to it than I could have imagined.