Deakin University

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Indigo Perry
Darkfall is a book-length memoir.

Darkfall is a potent and unforgettable work of compelling writing about an adolescence lived in Australian country town in the 1980s: desolate, dusty and bleak. Indigo Perry's narrative is a journey of grief, arranged around a score of music from alternative and post-punk sources, music unavailable outside cities in an age before the internet. This music, she contends, provides an imagined soundtrack, a ballast, for her isolation.

Darkfall identifies a legacy of extreme toxic masculinity and gendered violence, containing little in the way of justice. The author's deep retrospective unstitching of her reality is presented to us with profound poetic strength, uncovering the power that resilience can unleash on an adult body. It is an act of recovery and reclamation.



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University of Western Australia Publishing

Place of publication

Crawley, Western Australia





Research statement

Background: This research in the form of book-length memoir relates to solastalgia, exploring the handling of personal and ecological grief in the performance of autobiographical writing practices. Performance of autobiographical material in creative performance contexts has been investigated (Heddon 2008; Phelan 1993), and constructions of autobiographical material in literary memoir have been extensively explored. However, less has been written about performativity in the practice of autobiographical writing, on writing as performance, particularly in the context of environmental destruction and ecological despair. Research Contribution: Darkfall experiments with performing practices of writing autobiographically when working with thematically ‘dark’ material. What practical choices does the writer make to handle such work? Darkfall embodies experimental autobiographical writing practices including writing in fragmentary form, using third-person point-of-view and incorporating variant reality states such as dreams, illusions, rumours, spectres as ways to experiment with how writers might perform the self within lived experiences of solastalgia, negotiating between being ‘true’ to the lived experience while using practices to keep the reader engaged and not turned away from the often brutal nature of the material. Research Significance: The work’s value is demonstrated by high-quality publication and presentation contexts. Darkfall was published by highly-esteemed UWAP, and favourably reviewed in the Australian, the Age and Westerly, and featured by Yarra Valley Writers Festival and Wednesday Night Book Group. The researcher is developing a performance adaptation of Darkfall by invitation with international partners. Parts of the work were previously published in in prominent literary journals Meanjin, Southerly, Australian Poetry Anthology, and Verity La.

Publication classification

J1 Major original creative work

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