Rebekah Clarkson lives in the Adelaide hills in South Australia. Her short fiction, poetry and articles have been published in journals, anthologies and magazines. She is currently writing a short story cycle and is examining the form in her PhD studies at the University of Adelaide.
Rebekah Clarkson in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?I’ve written in personal journals since I was a child, documenting observations and overheard dialogue. I started to write fiction in my early thirties and felt an immediate affinity with short stories.
What do you love about Short Stories?I love the aesthetics of short stories. I love that they are challenging to write and read. I love the way they ruthlessly use all that is available to them, not just the words, but all those unsuspected spaces in and around the words, their capacity for subversion. I love the way the best short stories can resonate and then linger, sometimes for years, merging with your memories so that you forget what is fiction. I enjoy novels too but I’ve never experienced this particular phenomenon with them.
Do you write in other forms?I have written an unpublished novel, non-fiction and a little poetry.
What distracts you from writing?The Internet. Curiosity. Laziness. Fear.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?My other passions are my children and my husband and my friends. I love art, music, gardening, playing with colour, cooking, wine, roller-skating, running, film, lying in the sun.
What is your favourite book?Just one is impossible! Here are some: Raymond Carver’s A Small, Good Thing, James Joyce’s Eveline, Flannery O’Conner’s A Good Man is Hard to Find, Marjorie Barnard’s The Permisson Tree, Bonnie Jo Campbell’s King Cole’s American Salvage, Lorrie Moore’s Real Estate, Jhumpa Lahiri’s A Temporary Matter, Alexander McLeod’s Miracle Mile. One of my favourite novels is Chiam Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev and its sequel, The Gift of Asher Lev.
Who are your favourite writers?Flannery O’Conner, Lorrie Moore and Jhumpa Lahiri
Where is your dream location?The Tyrone Guthrie Centre on the shores of Annamakerrig Lake, in Ireland.
What one item would you put into Room 101?I’m with Winston. Any kind of rodent. On a lighter note, and I’m not saying it makes sense, but I hate the phrase ‘Champagne on Arrival’. I have no idea why, because I’m happy to have champagne when I arrive.
Do you have any advice for new writers?Persist. Feed your soul. Persist.
Work by Rebekah Clarkson:
A woman and her young daughter are invited for morning tea at a the home of her ex-husband and his new wife. A story about the distance between how people want things to be and how they really are. "The four of us sit under Sally’s pergola having morning tea—an attempt to be civilized and mature. There is a slight chill in the air but a stream of sunlight weaves through a tangle of aged wisteria and knotted grapevines above us, warming our heads and chests. And as if orchestrated by Sally herself, birds flit and sing. But morning tea is a bad idea. It is Sally’s idea and they are her words: civilised and mature."
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