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Real and unreal landscapes, science fiction, rural New Zealand, the West Coast of the USA from Oregon to San Francisco, three stories in various voices and settings. In Digging Ground a family is separated by circumstance and by the state after a cataclysmic war. In Sunshower an overweight hitch-hiker is abused by a gang of thugs. The title story, Coma, is a diagram of the female character’s life before an accidental overdose, embroidered throughout by her lifelong friendship with another woman. Bill Direen’s third book of fiction is a sequence not only of dramatic monologues, but of cultural narratives about the harm, intentional or unintentional, we may do to ourselves or to each other. “Jim-Morrison-style metaphor solemnises her utterances. Death, or a funereal formality, pervades the atmosphere.” (Katherine Liddy, NZ Landfall) First published by Titus Books in 2005.

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Tags: Fiction