Griffith Review Bookclub

Welcome to the inaugural Griffith Review Bookclub, which celebrates The Light Ascending. This edition includes the four winners from our seventh novella project alongside new shorter fiction and non-fiction, and new poetry from Australia and beyond.

The title for this collection was suggested both by the beautiful cover artwork (by Monica Rohan, a graduate of Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art) and by the sense of transcendence and transformation in so many of the pieces the book holds. Ashley Hay’s introduction to the collection picks up on these themes, and the idea of illumination, to guide readers into the book.

She writes:

If [a day’s] dawning, this beginning, represents the start of a new story, then the stories in this edition of Griffith Review…each set out from their own distinct points of illumination. A woman takes a hill too fast on her bike and flies into a new world; three misfits walk towards the space of new performance, a new home; a grandmother is recovered from fable, fairytale and Egypt; a heartbroken sister sells sublime sweetness to her old town; a pleasure dome glistens and shimmers on the edge of colonial Brisbane, a magic black panther tucked into the centre of itself; a family transcends a moment of loss and violence; a young girl transcends the strange gaze visited on any muse. These are stories of exploration and revelation; tales of taking flight and breaking free; tales of discovery and recovery.

We asked each contributor to this edition to set their own questions for you to invite you into their work. Some of those questions dive deeper than others, but we hope they’ll all give you another glimpse into these writers’ minds as well as into their words. Find the entire bookclub guide and reading notes here, and be sure to get in touch to let us know your thoughts!

Thank you for bringing The Light Ascending into your bookclub.