- THE DOROTHY HEWETT AWARD
Inspired by true events, The Sinkings is a historical novel that delves into the experience of intersexed individuals and the broader human need for love and belonging.
In 1882 dismembered human remains were discovered at the Sinkings near Albany, Western Australia. The surgeon conducting the autopsy claimed they were those of a woman. Why, then, was the victim identified as Little Jock, a male convict? And why was the murder so gruesome?
More than a hundred years later, amateur historian Willa Samson negotiates archives, communicates with family historians, and journeys to Scotland, Northern Ireland and England looking for answers.
Praise for The Sinkings:
The book contained dense layers. It deals with intersexuality in an intelligent, compassionate, and not at all false way. Then there's the issue of family estrangement, immigration, grief, poverty... all without slipping into sentimentality or letting the story be overwhelmed by the subject matter. It's a powerful, intricate work.JESSA CRISPIN, BOOKSLUT
Curtin disarms the reader in large part because of the beauty of the writing.JENNIFER MORAN, AUSTRALIAN LITERARY REVIEW
The Sinkings is a calm, closely worked performance, artfully sustained … the work of a writer in command both of her prose and of the intricate, unconsoling story that she tells.PETER PIERCE, THE CANBERRA TIMES
Effortless novelistic debut … Cool, musical and mysterious, The Sinkings is a fine achievement.KATHY HUNT, THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
Drawing on a substantial body of research into nineteenth-century Irish and British colonial history, biography, folklore and medical practice, Curtin brings them together in a vivid, moving story.STEPHANIE GREEN, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW