2022 Indie Longlisted- Permafrost by SJ Norman
Visual and performance artist, and winner of the inaugural Kill Your Darlings Manuscript Award, SJ Norman turns their hand to fiction with spectacular results.
This brilliant collection of short fiction explores the shifting spaces of desire, loss and longing. Inverting and queering the gothic and romantic traditions, each story represents a different take on the concept of a haunting or the haunted. Though it ranges across themes and locations – from small-town Australia to Hokkaido to rural England – Permafrost is united by the power of the narratorial voice, with its auto-fictional resonances, dark wit and swagger.
Whether recounting the confusion of a child trying to decipher their father and stepmother’s new relationship, the surrealness of an after-hours tour of Auschwitz, or a journey to wintry Japan to reconnect with a former lover, Permafrost unsettles, transports and impresses in equal measure.