A Rare Bird Book
Nobody is a highly stylized memoir that employs the choose-your-own-adventure structure to illustrate the complexity of navigating trauma for both author and reader. Nobody invites you to closely share a young girl’s brave journey of growing up in Australia in the eighties in a violent and abusive world. It transgresses the boundaries of literary traumatic representation to weave moments of sweetness and humor through a narrative where unexpected threads of beauty and darkness intersect, emphasizing the horrors of her environment. In conflating the labyrinth and maze, Nobody offers glimpses of the threads and juxtapositions that emerge when struggling to cope with traumatic memory.
Nobody’s second-person narration and choose-your-own-adventure form work seamlessly together with word and image to powerfully convey the intimate exchange that the author had with her fragmented selves while writing, and reveals the claustrophobia and confusion of PTSD.
Nobody challenges readers to cross the threshold: it forces them to examine their position as voyeuristic consumers of trauma and asks them to recognize their essential role as participant-witnesses. Through facilitating readers’ uncomfortable engagement with the text, Nobody challenges them to see the threads of complicity connecting individuals and communities to the ongoing issues of domestic violence and child sexual abuse.
A spiral, a magical realist labyrinth, a lyric essay, a mirror-maze, and a mandala, Mothsong celebrates art’s capacity to facilitate and map posttraumatic growth. It is a testimony of healing from child abuse that peers into the chrysalis. Through poetic prose, visual image, ekphrasis, and intuitive enquiry, the author carries the lamp of art into the magical realist labyrinth of the wounded soul to unveil the terrifying and the sacred. In the spaces between a heartbeat, the stories of Lolah—who represents the author from the age of sixteen to the present—and January—her younger self—are entwined with the silken threads of “You” and other voices to sing a song of transformation.
Mothsong creates a new myth for the moth as a symbol of the soul’s urge to heal, and in so doing, goes far beyond elevating the beauty within darkness.