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The Art of Taxidermy - Sharon Kernot

Paperback

Published: 2nd July 2018
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A lyrical verse novel exploring love and grief and the strange and wonderful art of taxidermy.

Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands - Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does.

And her mother? Lottieā€™s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.

The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.

About the Author

Sharon Kernot writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals, magazines and anthologies including Island, Mascara Literary Journal, Best Australian Poems, and Australian Love Stories.

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marvellous

5

"The corellas were grazing with a scatter of galahs. We sat on a fallen log and watched them squabble and tussle, beat their wings and waddle like hook-nosed old men with their arms tucked behind their backs." The Art of Taxidermy is the second novel by Australian author, Sharon Kernot. Eleven-year-old Charlotte has just developed a fascination with dead creatures. She can see their beauty, and wants to keep her collection in her room. Her father, Wolfgang is understanding, but Aunt Hilda is disgusted: she thinks Lottie should be interested in things girlish, not ghoulish. Annie is her constant companion, helps her find specimens, and always has sound advice for her. While her new school friend, Jeffrey doesn't share her absorption in these creatures, he and Lottie are both different enough from the others to stick together. Kernot chooses an unusual medium to tell Lottie's tale: verse. It's not the rhyming verse of Vikram Seth's Golden Gate, it's free verse, and it's beautiful: "Today the trees are full of flowers and parrots. Rainbow, musk and little lorikeets hang from branches like gaudy clowns, squawking and chattering as they strip the flowering gums, leaving yellow pools and blood-red shadows beneath." As Lottie collects and tries to preserve her finds, the tragedies that have befallen her family are gradually revealed. It's a story that touches on death and grieving and funerals and the internment of Germans during World War Two and the stolen generation, and she wraps it all in evocative descriptive verse. But it's not all doom and gloom; there's much beauty and even a bit of humour when a misunderstanding that sees Aunt Hilda furnishing a certain sensitive product, which Lottie immediately puts to an excellent alternative use. And despite Aunt Hilda or, more accurately, because of Wolfgang, Lottie gets to try taxidermy for real. Hers are the last words in this marvellous novel: "The revival and re-creation of something that has expired is an honour

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The Art of Taxidermy

5.0 1

100.0

`Completely mesmerising, fresh and unexpected.' -- Diana Sweeney, winner of 2013 Text Prize
`An intense exploration of grief.' -- Steven Herrick
`[An] exquisite lyrical verse novel...[A] sharply evocative tale.' * West Weekend *
`The work couples the swift, clipped charm of a verse novel and the unpredictable beauty of the Australian landscape in a captivating manner that showcases an author entirely comfortable with her form...Lingers in the mind for weeks afterwards.' * Tulpa Magazine *
`Kernot has created an intriguing tale of mystery and the imagination with a haunting ambience that the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe would recognise and admire...this is a delightful story about grief transformed and the urge to resurrect and to re-create.' * Saturday Paper *
`This book is beautifully written...while the novel is about grief, it is also about the importance of remembering and keeping the memory of loved ones alive.' * Magpies Magazine *
`In lyrical language, Kernot draws a comparison between the Australian bush and death: both are beautiful and desolate at once.' * Readings *
`Kernot's writing is imbued with life and grace and moments of infectious joy.' * SA Weekend *

ISBN: 9781925603743
ISBN-10: 1925603741
Audience: Children
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 2nd July 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.22