Sparked by the description of a ‘Malay trollope’ in W. Somerset Maugham’s story, The Four Dutchmen, Mirandi Riwoe’s novella The Fish Girl, tells of an Indonesian girl whose life is changed irrevocably when she moves from a small fishing village to work in the house of a Dutch merchant.
There she finds both hardship and tenderness as her traditional past and colonial present collide. Told with an exquisitely restrained voice and coloured with lush description, this moving book will stay with you long after the last page.
About the author
Mirandi Riwoe is a Brisbane-based writer. She has been shortlisted for Overland’s Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize, the Josephine Ulrick Short Story Prize and the Luke Bitmead Bursary. She has also been longlisted for the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize and CWA (UK) dagger awards. Her work has appeared in Review of Australian Fiction, Rex, Peril and Shibboleth and Other Stories. Her first novel, She be Damned, was released by Legend Press (UK) in 2017. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies (QUT).
The Fish Girl evokes a lush Indonesia of the past remote fishing villages, Chinese traders and Dutch merchants. The life of a young girl is changed forever when she must leave the safety and poverty of her fishing village, to work in the house of a Dutch merchant. This is a deeply moving literary gem, woven around a colonial history and laced with Sudanese mythology.