Felicity Plunkett

is a poet and critic.

By this author

Culture May 21, 2022


Two women meet in a cafe. One asks permission to write the other’s life “while she lives it”. The writer is a compassionate and observant interlocutor. Her subject, Jin, is wary and evasive. Their conversation examines words survivors of violence …

Culture April 09, 2022

The Burnished Sun

The Burnished Sun follows Mirandi Riwoe’s acclaimed historical novel Stone Sky Gold Mountain (2020), the latter about siblings Ying and Lai Yue, who flee China for the Australian goldfields. Writer and historian Yves Rees uses the …

Culture September 11, 2021

Beautiful World, Where Are You

Across the world, readers are lining up to buy 30-year-old Irish writer Sally Rooney’s third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. It follows Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People (2018), the latter having sold …

Culture August 28, 2021

Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life

What kind of fruit would you be, and why? The unnamed narrator of Nostalgia Has Ruined My Life struggles to answer this question at a group job interview as she stands in a circle with other interviewees. It’s one of many moments that highlight …

Culture July 03, 2021

Things Are Against Us

This collection’s first essay laments those eponymous THINGS. THINGS unscrupulous, lugubrious or mutinous. Zips, needles, devilish duvet covers and feckless hot-water bottles are ready to snap, flap or vanish, scald, burn or prick. It is “the anarchy …

Culture March 06, 2021

Buried Not Dead

Someone – nobody is sure who – once quipped that writing about music is like dancing about architecture – an awkward and unnecessary translation. This quip thrums a warning: stay in your lane or risk being ridiculous. Writer and performance artist …

Culture August 01, 2020

The Labyrinth

As a child, Marita, the protagonist of Amanda Lohrey’s novel Camille’s Bread (1995), rewrites the endings to stories. Later, she steps out of the swift stream of her life as a working solo parent to focus on nurturing her daughter. She yearns …

Culture April 18, 2020

Friends and Rivals

“We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.” The eponymous protagonist …