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Wild Awake
Hilary T. Smith
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Bryan Peterson
The Golden Day - Ursula Dubosarsky Ambiguity can be incredibly creepy. And it’s this absence of firm answers, the subtle power of suggestion, that makes The Golden Day such an unsettling, evocative read. This slim novel succeeds as a sort of urban rendering of Picnic At Hanging Rock (let’s all just forget about Chapter 18, okay? It’s better this way, trust me), if mostly due to Dubosarksy’s elegant and assured writing. Opening in Sydney in 1967, The Golden Day is about eleven schoolgirls and their teacher who go to the Gardens to meet a poet. What follows becomes a mystery, an unexplained event that in one way or another leaves an inedible imprint on the psyche of the group.The Golden Day raises more questions than it answers, but I believe this is where it’s strength lies. The plot itself is slight, littered with innuendo and hints, glimpses of things seen but not fully understood by the children involved. There’s something languorous and dream-like about the storytelling, a darkness lingering at the edges of the prose, that makes the book so disquieting. Truthfully, I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. But Dubosarksy’s haunting story won me over with the very first paragraph:”The year began with the hanging of one man, and ended with the drowning of another. But every year people die and their ghosts roam in the public gardens, hiding behind the grey, dark statues like wild cats, their tiny footsteps and secret breathing muffled by the sound of falling water in the fountains and the quiet ponds.”The Golden Day is an odd and enchanting novel, not one that will meet with universal praise, but worth the experience for lovers of slightly strange, slightly quaint tales. [Note – the chapter titles in the novel are taken from the paintings and drawings of Australian artist Charles Blackman]