CHERRY RIPE book cover   Cherry Ripe
Carmel Bird

"Carmel Bird has written some very good stories." - Kate Ahearn, The Age
"Reading Cherry Ripe gave me a lot of pleasure. The effect is something like a richly embroidered banner, devised with a tender pop humour." - Philip Motherwell
"A fairy tale 'Catholic and carmine' - a matriarchal story told with unique wit. I have been giggling ever since I was introduced to the Sacred Heart who wanted a Fair Isle jumper." - Sandra Shotlander
"Always at the edges of her world of unreality is the real madness of our real world, and blood-letting is never far away." - John Irving, Australian Book Review

First Paragraph:

In a house in the country, there lived a girl called Agnes. Queen Victoria died when Agnes was nearly eleven, and in Tasmania, on the edge of the Queen's Empire, Agnes felt some of the ripple caused in the world by the old Queen's death.

The island of Tasmania was a pink heart in Agnes's atlas, and Agnes fancied that her own face was shaped like a heart. She thought about her own heart, about the shape of the land, and she sometimes pictured, in daydreams, herself as the world, Tasmania as her heart. So when the Queen, the Queen it seemed of all the world, died, Agnes wished that she could do something, make something, to carry the memory of the time of the death of the Queen.

She made a doll.

From the Power Press paperback edition, 1985.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2002 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: January 24, 2002.