A BOOK WE LOVED : This book took me to places in my reading I hadn’t been to in years. Full of magical realism and wondrous descriptions of the Tasmanian wilderness, Flames is an amazing and singular work of imagination. While it touches on universal themes of love, loss and grief, Arnott’s startlingly original and luminous prose will set off sparks in your consciousness that will resonate for a long time. Gavin
"A strange and joyous marvel" Richard Flanagan, Man Booker-winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North
It starts with a fisherman hunting for tuna, his sidekick a young seal as fast as quicksilver, a relationship forged in blood and fishmeat, but broken by the black heft of the sea; then a young man whose mother burned up outside, the scorch marks still on the grass, who fears the same fate for his sister so builds her a coffin, even though she's still breathing and very much alive; a water rat swimming upriver, a god in his element until he finds that some gods are more powerful than others; a flock of cormorants, pecking out the eyes of the slow-witted wombats on a local farm, and the sad old man who swears bloody vengeance; and more, and more, until it ends with a fisherman, who used to hunt for tuna, with a seal for a sidekick, as fast as quicksilver...
SHORTLISTED FOR THE READINGS PRIZE FOR NEW AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Robbie Arnott was born in Launceston in 1989. His writing has appeared in Island, the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and the 2017 anthology Seven Stories. He won the 2015 Tasmanian Young Writers' Fellowship and the 2014 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. Robbie lives in Hobart and is an advertising copywriter.