The Wandering Nature of Us Girls (Paperback)
In these small stories, Frankie McMillan balances transgression and wit, showing a cast of unmoored characters with her signature warmth and compassion. Bursts of vivid, poetic writing blur the line between reality and surrealism as she explores all kinds of wandering: children wander, adults drift into unexpected relationships, and footholds can never be certain. Water, too, meanders like a river in the collection, a powerful presence linking disparate lives: the girls raised by swans swim towards what they hope is a better future in the West, a grandmother swims naked in an isolated bush lake, Magdalene’s behaviour on the fishing boat is under scrutiny by her sisters, while the taniwha Kaiwhakaruaki looms over lovers hiding under a wooden dinghy on the beach. In settings as unexpected as a European post-war circus or an inflatable pool in suburban Aotearoa, the enduring bonds of family, real or imagined, take centre stage. Frankie McMillan has given us a collection that is poignant, revelatory, and bitter sweet.
Frankie McMillan is the author of five books of poetry and short fiction. She has twice won the New Zealand Flash Fiction Day competition and has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including the NZSA Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship (2019), the Michael King writing residency at the University of Auckland (2017), and the Ursula Bethell residency in creative writing at the University of Canterbury (2014).