Adam Rivett is a Melbourne-based writer. He has written for The Lifted Brow, The Age, The Australian, Island, Fireflies and Seizure.
Having found success at the age of 67 with 2018’s The Friend, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Sigrid Nunez is obsessed with time in her new novel. Everything the book touches – climate change, parenthood, illness – is defined against ageing’s inescapable defilement, likewise its streamlined clarity of expression and attentiveness to the lives of others. It moves at speed, in short bursts, in search of the essence of things.
The plot of What Are You Going Through (Virago) is gently accumulative and pleasingly unhurried. An unnamed narrator – no autofiction here, it’s too late in the day for that game – attends a lecture by an ex-partner on the coming ravages of climate change. In a bar after the event, the narrator overhears a conversation between a father and daughter about their recently departed wife and mother. Later...
Nothing without context. Politics, society, culture.