Overview: The year is 2019 and the 83 regions of the Russian Federation are splitting apart. A team of six in a Canberra office have been asked to provide an urgent report on the issue for their Minister. As they strive to meet their deadline, the story of an office itself fracturing into pieces, as personal histories surface, unfolds to echo the crisis they are being asked to report on.
Best described as a discontinuous novel, this is a story told in six parts. Each part is told in first person by a different member of the team in Canberra preparing a report on the international geopolitical crisis of the break up of the Russian Federation. Nev, team leader, is ex-army, with a fixation on language for its own sake, and not real good at politics as it’s played in the public service. His number two, Vic, is an ambitious, career public servant who goes after what she wants. When Nev blocks Vic’s request for a transfer, she thinks she has some dirt which will put Nev in his place. But Nev falls back into old habits of no-holds-barred behaviour. The story begins with Taz, the youngest in the team, and the most unstable, in hospital after a workplace related injury. We also have Sammy, an F2M transgender, wanting to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, to support her family. Quinn, a former musician who joined the public service by chance works closely with Wes who is dealing with some sort of chronic fatigue syndrome. They all have to work together. They are all living in their own world. These worlds blend together to relate a bigger story of the splitting apart.
Link to smashwords ebook version here.
Personal comments: I completed this novel in 2011 and self published it in 2012. As this was part of my postgraduate creative work at University of Wollongong, a lot of theory and thought went into its writing. One aspect of the work that I didn’t write much about was how it was a personal homage to Russian literature that I had read, though family and friends who read the book haven’t twigged to how extensive this was. Maybe one day I will go through each of these elements in the book. Or I may just keep the whole thing to myself, like a private joke.
I have a blog elsewhere detailing some of the theoretical aspects of this work. The story is based in Canberra and largely within the public service.