Joy Cover


Ten short stories, each examining sensuality, sexuality and eroticism. Published by Ginninderra Press, 2000, ISBN 1 74027 039 8. Launched in Canberra by the then Australian Democrat senator Brian Greig and in Sydney by Dorothy Porter.

‘Nigel Featherstone’s writing is beautifully poised, taking you right into that moment of repose, deepening the experience into its true fullness... Joy is a collection of ten stories, many of which are wonderfully accomplished pieces, warm, lush, humane, with lots of surprises and shocks.’ Nita Kambouris, Australian Book Review, No. 224 September 2000

‘This is eloquent writing. These stories not only moved me but also reminded me of the pleasure – and the shock – of words. Pretty bloody excellent.’ Christos Tsiolkas

‘Joy avoids many of the pitfalls open to collections of short stories by a single author. The pieces are varied enough in intent and style to prevent the book appearing like a poor excuse for a novel. At the same time, there is enough congruence that they don’t jar. The structure of the book, which has the ten main stories book-ended by a split piece, adds to this sense of coherence, but it is also a result of Featherstone’s assured writing... Featherstone’s depiction of Canberra and nearby bushland are particularly impressive. Settings and location are clearly important to him, and he conveys ideas of topography and sense of place very well. A distinctive voice, offering unexpected insights into relations between people.’
Ann Standish, Overland,
No. 163, 2001

‘A commitment to people and landscape. Unusually profound and memorable.' Rodney Croome, former editor of Island

‘Featherstone’s writing is mature in its crafting and varied both in tone and narrative voice. [He] is equally adept at conveying the thoughts and emotions of a person in love, on the prowl or totally self-absorbed. He is able to suggest the weary sadness of the end of an affair, the frustration of a man competing for the attention of a friend who dotes on his female secretary, or the anguish of an older man consumed by guilt and remembered desire from a relationship in the past. Featherstone writes with passion, sensitivity and insight and some of the stories... are extremely moving.’
Veronica Sen, The Canberra Times,
24 July 2000

‘Have you ever walked around a well-known suburb and some sudden shift of light makes it seem familiar and strange at the same? This sensation is inherent when reading Featherstone’s anthology, in which the landscape of Canberra and the nearby coast are significant. Joy is multi-layered and does what good writing should do – it touches the heart... The un-named framing story in Joy asks: ‘Is there one thing, or many?’ The varied stories between the asking and the enigmatic final page take the reader into a search for knowledge – of love and desire and sexuality. But love and caring take precedence. Well worth the read.’ Glenda Guest, Muse, August 2000

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