The colour of death

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  • Published 20091201
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

SOME PEOPLE LOSE perspective regardless of the occasion. Brigit is prowling at the edges of Loney Tonkin’s funeral and fashion-minded mourners are decked out in black for the occasion, like race day without the colour. Expensive black, and most of it looks pretty new – the bereaved are sassy. Heels sink into the lawn like golf tees. Funerals are a kind of social event – the soul-released doesn’t wait for the mourners. Catholics know to get in early with the Last Rites.

Brigit is wandering around and gaping at headstones. Names are carved in granite or sandstone; others are bronze tablets affixed to green-stained concrete. The cemetery is like a well-kept heritage site. The priest’s words waft away into the easterly breeze. But it’s the whispered conversation Brigit has come for. She’s unsure if anyone will recognise her, and being one among a couple of hundred is a kind of camouflage. She spots Lewis. He’s at the edge of the convocation, his head cocked back, and he’s squinting as he watches aeroplanes on final approach, lost in thought. He jolts when she prods him in the back. She smiles, and he takes a couple of sideways steps and ignores her.

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About the author

Doug Hall

Doug Hall is the Australian Commissioner for the Australian exhibitions at the 53rd and 54th Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011.From 1987 until April...

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