Locust Girl

IMG_0793.JPGThe narrative is easy to follow, like you are reading a bed-time story and listening to a lullaby at the same time. It is both terrifying and soothing to read. The setting is unknown but the desolation and barrenness is familiar. It speaks of the world’s aches, paradoxes and flaws in a language that is pure and poetic.

The main character is Amadea, a nine-year old who gets buried underground but comes to life after ten years. Amadea wakes with a locust embedded in her brow. The locust sings and whirrs.

I am Amadea, daughter of Alkesta and Abarama
I am Beena, beloved of Beenabe
Fau-us, Gurimar, Hara-Haran, Inige, Just-me-uhm
Karitase, Lumi, Martireses, Nartireses, Opi, Padumana
Quxik, Rirean, Silam, Trapsta, Unre, Verompe
Wilidimus, Xuqik, Ycasa, Zacarem

In the novel, you will meet all these wonderfully strange creatures. They are introduced in a manner that follows a rhythm yet readers will find each character distinct. The rhythm also comes from the forbidden songs that they sing. Each song is a reminder of their terrible past, so Amadea is feared because her locust sings these songs. They live in a dystopian world, where they are given rations of food (seed), oil (to soothe their pains) and water in jugs. The Ministers decide for the people, how little to give them and how to silence them with fire.

According to Bobis, people think that there is a border between the people and the non-human world, the novel is her way of helping students re-imagine water. “One can think of dryness in the post-apocalyptic setting as the dryness of the human heart consumed by us versus the other,” she says.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/locust-girl-by-merlinda-bobis-wins-christina-stead-prize-for-fiction-20160516-gowcra.html#ixzz49GVOkmj9
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