Author(s): Maria Takolander
Mum and Dad were sitting up in bed, the dark veneer of the bed head framing them from above the waist and the white sheet messed up around their legs. Dad's mouth was smeared with blood. It was on his teeth. He was panting. Mum was looking into her lap, where she was squeezing her left fist with her right hand. I could see the thumb sticking out, a chunk of flesh hanging off and blood streaming down. A student travels to Estonia to investigate his violent father's upbringing. A woman is possessed by visions of her brother's brutal death at a lake in Finland. A bride plumbs the depths of her loathing for her husband on a journey across Africa. A lonely boy is haunted by nightmares of a new classmate who has an affair with their teacher. Each of the stories in The Double is unnerving, and unforgettable. Ranging from rural Australia to Northern Europe and beyond, from the dark past of the Soviet era to a terrifying vision of the near future, this collection marks the arrival of a unique and bewitching talent.
'Extraordinary. I was entranced. Takolander's stories have a remarkable concentration of vision; their images are haunting and powerful, and will remain with me for a long time.' -- Jeremy Chambers 'Maria Takolander's stories are written in a bewitching minor key. Haunting and mysterious, this is a collection that you will want to savour, then read all over again.' -- Danielle Wood
Maria Takolander is a senior lecturer in literature at Deakin University in Geelong. She is the author of a work of literary criticism and two poetry collections. Her poems have featured in annual best-of anthologies for the past seven years. This is her first book of fiction.