Black Dust Dancing

After years of living with a manuscript that I barely discussed with anyone, it was strange watching the novel, through reviews and readers’ responses, take on a life of its own. I’m sad to say that the most beautiful blog reviews I read from people who had long been readers of my blog have, for the most part, disappeared now. I do miss the glory days of blogging.

However, here is a transcript of a radio review by Gillian Dooley. I fell in love with this review when I read this sentence: ”Reading Black Dust Dancing is a little like being at a large family gathering where you hardly know anyone and no-one introduces you.” You know what? That is *exactly* the book I wanted to write. I also very much liked the final paragraph which reads/says (?) “Black Dust Dancing could appear to be a fairly simple morality tale about the conflict between loyalty and making a principled stand. But it’s surprisingly deep and its economy and the lucidity of its language are stunning when you consider the complexities it contains.”

In The Big Issue, Kabita Dhara ended her review by saying: “Based on true events in a rural Australian town, this is a remarkable debut novel. Quietly self-assured, with a sharp eye for detail, Tracy Crisp explores the complex relationships between people in a town whose loyalties are being strained, as well as between families struggling with changing times.” On the Readings website, Jo Case opened her review by saying: “This intimate, deeply-felt novel centres on a small industrial town where the industry that supports the community appears to be threatening its children.” Later on, she says, that the novel’s “…pleasures lie within its crisply drawn characterisations, choice details and observations, and the gradually excavated fault lines in its relationships” and ends by saying that, “the reader is kept thinking and guessing as they piece together the way the past is feeding into the present. ‘Just because people don’t lie, doesn’t mean they tell the truth,’ says one character – and that observation is at the heart of this impressive first novel.” I like what both those reviews say about the relationships in the novel. I like it a lot, because it’s what fascinates me – our relationships, their complexities and subtleties, their depths and their shallows.

And now I wait, nervously, for the reviews of my second novel to begin. Or to not begin. Haunted by Oscar Wilde’s truth: There’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.