Publication Date
Publication Status
Out of print
Poetry by individual poets
Trim Size
216 x 140mm

Fragments from a Paper Witch


Why Fragments from a Paper Witch? Through paper encounters we can ignite, meld, metamorphose returning utterly altered. These pieces are about the struggle to resist crippling expectations and cultural framings, but they also explore a range of modes of being (and un-becoming) a woman in passion and in grief, in the flesh and on paper. For me to write is to discover rather than to depict, to connect with new possibilities and new modes of being, but also to explore the underside, the savage side of familial and social relations, where the protective ‘cosies’ of the self are shed and, skinless, one finds new grafts beginning to take. These works at times literally use graft, or other writers’ words to commemorate amorous connections impossible without the ardour of paper encounters. In her preface Gail Jones writes, These are encounters which stimulate intellectual and affective jubilation (another of the writer’s favourite words). […] there is also here a kind of literary cruising, writing as charged transfer, as the vigilant address of arousing desire. Campbell’s oeuvre is essentially of this order. I commend this luminous volume to readers in the fervent hope it will elevate her to wider notice and confirm her reputation as a major Australian writer.

Praise for Previous Work

‘Campbell is experimental and adventurous with words and launches often into unexpected riffs, her writing gathering steam as she moves further and further into her subjects’ moody and intense interior worlds.’ —The Bulletin

‘Campbell strives for and attains the thwarted and transgressive articulations of a William Faulkner.’ —The Age

‘This marvellously rich work.’ —Philip Mead, The UTS Review of Cultural Studies and New Writing

‘Marion Campbell uses language in a fluid and engaging way, mixing rich, poetic prose and inflammatory use of the vernacular at will.’ —Bruce Russell, Antipodes

‘Campbell’s is a thoroughly feminist voice. Her books are manifestations of female fluidity of thought… She has a genuine ability to create characters through insight and empathy.’ —Leslie Walters , Australian Women’s Book Review

‘‘Prowler’ is good writing (…) because it explores a fundamental emotional truth: the rift in every individual which is both excavated and healed by these lethal connections to life and to others.’ —Carolyn Bliss, World Literature Today

‘Campbell’s writing is dazzling. For virtuoso performance there is no one to compare her with other than Janet Frame.’ —Stephanie Dowrick, Vogue Australia

‘A work of wit and audacity, power and complexity, a dance, celebrating and justifying the women’s stories it tells.’ —Delys Bird, The Good Reading Guide

‘Marion Campbell’s inventiveness, intelligence, ear for language, absolutely fine descriptive faculty and more, make Not Being Miriam a masterpiece.’ —John Weyland, The West Australian

‘A fiercely intelligent novel.’ —Dinny O’Heane, The Good Reading Guide

‘The influence of Marion Campbell's first novel, Lines of Flight (1985) is incalculable.’ —Anna Gibbs, Text

‘The advance notices of Lines of Flight were daunting superlatives: “awesomely intelligent…endlessly versatile and inventive, richly original…”, the sort of thing up to which no writer should have to live, and with a first novel yet. But this book deserves all that.’ —Inez Baranay, The Sydney Morning Herald

‘A witty and constantly delightful story of the experience of a woman artist…[Campbell is] a rebel spirit with a wild wicked imagination.’ —Susan McKernan, The Bulletin

‘One of the most exciting, inventive books of fiction I’ve read recently… what a rich and exhilarating experience it is.’ —David Gilbey, Weekend Australian

‘One of the most important works of fiction to have appeared in Australia.’ —Susan Midalia, Westerly