Animal perspective

Breaking the language barrier

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  • Published 20210129
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-56-6
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

ERIN HORTLE: In Tasmania, there is a place where female octopuses emerge from the water and make their way across an isthmus, with a highway running across it, in search of habitat to extrude their eggs. Luckily, on the other side of this isthmus, there is such habitat – vast systems of sea caves – and here, they tend to their eggs, not eating or sleeping until the eggs hatch, and the female octopuses die, spent.

I wanted to tell these octopuses’ story, but it wasn’t until I had an idea for a human angle that I began writing in earnest. But it bugged me that the octopuses only emerged as characters when their paths directly intersected with those of the human characters; it meant their plot line was both moderated and diminished. So, I decided to write a piece from the perspective of the octopus.

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About the author

Laura Jean McKay

Laura Jean McKay is the author of The Animals in That Country (Scribe, 2020), shortlisted for the Readings Prize 2020. Her short story collection Holiday in...

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