Leaving Elvis and other stories
“We’re travelling light, without excess, into our future. Gran had been rough as she uncurled my hands from their position, gripped around the open car doorframe, and shoved me into the passenger seat.”
A man returns from World War II and struggles to come to terms with what has happened in his absence. Almost seventy years later, his middle-aged granddaughter packs up her late grandmother’s home and discovers more than she had bargained for. These two stories book-end thirteen closely linked stories of one family and the rippling of consequences across three generations, played out against the backdrop of a changing Australia.
A debut collection—as powerful as it is tender—from the winner of the 2013 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.
Available now via UWA Publishing (click the book cover for more info) and most book shops.
“Michau-Crawford’s accomplished début collection bears comparison to Tim Winton’s impressionistic The Turning(2005) and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge (2008), though Leaving Elvis is properly neither the portrait of place nor of a single character.” ~Francesca Sasnaitis, Australian Book Review, March 2016, no 379
“Crawford is not didactic but alert to the play of culturally inscribed roles with historical events. The writing is pithy but perceptive, and the scenarios range between bleak and wry.” ~Ed Wright, The Australian, July 16, 2016
“Our winner, ‘Leaving Elvis’, manages to tell a story of regret and adolescent memories – a story containing a relinquished baby – and the pain of silence. It is distinctively and successfully achieved through the undercutting of wry language and expression and gentle humour. The figure of the grandmother in the story – a fiercely loyal survivor – is a wonderful creation. We were impressed by the breadth of this story; the way it was shaped and told made it our unanimous choice as winner for 2013. It also, curiously, had echoes of the distinctive elements of Elizabeth Jolley’s own fiction and the subterranean worlds of silence and deception, and unlikely heroes, she created in her books.”
Tony Birch, Maria Takolander, and Terri-ann White. Judges’ Report, Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize 2013