Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner based in Melbourne. Her short-story collection, Australia Day, won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her novel, Room for a Stranger, was shortlisted for the 2020 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Prize and longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Paper, The Guardian, The Age, The Weekend Australian, Meanjin and Overland, among many others.
With ears plugged and eyes closed, she felt safer. The sensations that did reach her were muted: the melodic ring of the seatbelt light being switched off, the rattle of the dinner trolley, the smell of food being warmed in microwave ovens – a heady aroma reminiscent of canned soup and sausage rolls. But above it all she heard something else. The rumble of a voice – low, male, foreign.American.
The human factor
MemoirI would like to believe in the myth that we grow wiser with age. In a sense my disbelief is wisdom. Those of a middle generation, if charitable or sentimental, subscribe to the wisdom myth, while the callous see...
Fiction I’VE NEGLECTED HER. Her ceilings are soft with cobwebs. Her garden is choked with weeds. Her fence leans, like buckteeth, out onto the footpath. She is getting old, and noisy. Like me, with my snorts and grunts and farts that...
Ticket-holder number 5
FictionFOR AS LONG as she could remember, Tania had carried a canister of capsicum spray in her workbag. She’d never had cause to use it but she believed it was only a matter of time. Last Christmas Eve, Sheila...