The upstairs window of the Bluebird Cafe in the Tasmanian ghost town of Copperfield reflects only the sky, and above this window the gable rises to a point on top of which is a spindle of turned wood, painted blue. If you look up at the spindle and half close your eyes, especially at dusk, the spindle looks like a woman.
The White Garden is a compelling portrait of a man whose lust for power is expressed in his treatment of psychiatric patients.
Seven women die in deep sleep therapy; the doctor rapes his patients in the Sleeping Beauty Ward.
The sister of one of the doctor's victims becomes his nemesis.
The Stolen Children -- Their Stories is based on Bringing Them Home, the findings of a government inquiry into the separation from their families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
A short novel for young teenagers. This is the horrifying story of a girl haunted by the spirit of her friend who died tragically after becoming obsessed with her science teacher.
Unholy Writ is a crime novel - shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award in 2000.
The corpse: Brooke Ferguson is a bright and beautiful young student of creative writing. Her mangled body is discovered in a disused mine in the hills.
Courtney Frome: The bright and beautiful young newspaper reporter who decides to follow the case.
Vanessa: Courtney's black and white cat who sees more than you would think, who thinks more than you would expect, and who talks more than she should.
Thick candles burning low around the spa. They are flesh pink, gleaming pearls, arranged in clusters of soft light along the marble counters. Imitation gold taps the shape of dolphins. Nostalgia radio wails on, forlorn, strangely discordant among misty mirrors and shimmering tiles. It is late morning, the sky, bruised with smog, glows apricot, flecked with lilac. And the vast curved window, a shining echo of the thirties, looks out across the treetops - which screen the red roofs of rows of houses - to the bay.
About the Author
Carmel Bird (1940- ), born Launceston, Tasmania, was educated at the University of Tasmania and lived for a period in Europe and the USA before settling in Melbourne. Bird's fiction blends real and surreal, mundane and macabre with inventive irony, reflecting her perception of Tasmania itself as an 'ironic' island, whose picturesque surface masks deep secrets and is haunted by the ghosts of Aborigines and convicts.
Spineless Wonders are calling for short fiction submissions, to 3,000 words, open theme. Closing date is 31 July, 2011.
First Prize - $500
Two runners up - $100 each