Into the Sea. 2020. Brill, Social Fictions Series.
Taylah Brown is happy. She is. She has graduated university and she is in love and Sydney is a wonderful city to be in love in – all sunshine and blue water everywhere. It’s 2014 and the future is paved out in front her, a heat shimmer of possibility. Haircuts. Concerts. Holidays. Birthdays. Getting engaged, being engaged, going to brunch to show off the ring. More birthdays, a promotion, finding the right white dress. Getting married, going on her honeymoon, buying a house, having a child, getting a dog, going to the gym, moving house, camping at beach, weekends spent baking in the kitchen. New haircuts, new jobs, more birthdays, more birthdays… Choice-laden, picturesque, this is the good life. Isn’t it?
Grounded in ethnographic research and published in Brill’s award-winning Social Fictions Series, Into the Sea is an experiment in sociological imagination. The story follows a group of young adults through twelve months of the mundane and extraordinary. By closely inspecting the tensions in everyday scenes – family lunches on the verandah, mornings at work, dinners parties with friends, shopping trips to IKEA – the novel questions what it means to live “the Australian way of life”.
“You have to be an extraordinary writer in order bring to life what is remarkable in the ordinary. In this beautifully crafted work of sociological fiction Ash Watson does just this, linking the most intimate of local details in Australian everyday life to the big issues of global history and society.”
— Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London
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