AV Book Club - Fiction by Aspie / Autistic Authors
Our next AV Book Club will discuss The Animals in That Country by Laura Jean McKay
As the COVID era continues, it seems appropriate to begin the year with an award winning Australian author’s creative exploration of pandemics.
Winner of The Arthur C Clarke Award, the Victorian Prize for Literature, the ABIA Small Press Adult Book of the Year and the Aurealis Best Science Fiction Book (co-win).
Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, and allergic to nonsense, Jean is not your usual grandma. She’s never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. And although Jean talks to all her charges, she has a particular soft spot for a young dingo called Sue.
As disturbing news arrives of a pandemic sweeping the country, Jean realises this is no ordinary flu: its chief symptom is that its victims begin to understand the language of animals — first mammals, then birds and insects, too. As the flu progresses, the unstoppable voices become overwhelming, and many people begin to lose their minds, including Jean’s infected son, Lee. When he takes off with Kimberly, heading south, Jean feels the pull to follow her kin.
Setting off on their trail, with Sue the dingo riding shotgun, they find themselves in a stark, strange world in which the animal apocalypse has only further isolated people from other species. Bold, exhilarating, and wholly original, The Animals in That Country asks what would happen if - for better or worse - we finally understood what animals were saying.
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