FIELD OF POPPIES is published in November 2019 by Transit Lounge.
The scarlet poppy is a reminder of the First World War, a war that tore civilisation apart in the 20th century. The poppy grows wild in the fields around Muckleton, a rural Australian town, where one night a woman called Alice vanishes. The village is turned upside-down. In the world outside Muckleton, the seas are rising, the climate is changing, millions of refugees are dying, forests and species are disappearing. The majority of affluent world citizens appear to be living carefree, careless lives. Muckleton tree-changers Marsali and William are involved in the woes of the village, are aware of the worries of the world, and yet they seem to be merrily swept along with the tide that is threatening to overwhelm the planet.
Comments on Field of Poppies
Fiona Wright: “Sharp yet sensitive, wildly imaginative, and layered with allusion and allegory. Bird's vivid characters weave together local legend, small-town speculation, art, literature and science in their narration of their selves and lives, all but ignoring the social and ecological destruction taking place around them.
A truly remarkable achievement from a novelist at the height of her powers.”
Michael Sala: “Bold and playful, sharply funny and humane, Carmel Bird’s timely social satire shimmers with layers. Carmel has a gift for distilling the essence of her characters and locations and bringing them together in wonderfully unexpected ways. Her distinctive voice and lightness of touch shine in this penetrating and evocative novel.”
Gerardo Rodriguez Salas: “Highly engaging storytelling that blends and layers reality and extravaganza with ingenious irony, wit and subtlety.”
Michael McGirr: This is an absolute feast of wit and wisdom. Carmel Bird embroiders a seemingly simple story with the most wonderful observations and colourful mischief. This novel resonates with a long list of contemporary problems. It is wry, intelligent, searching, poised and astute, showcasing the human catastrophe with grace and charm. It takes years of experience for a writer to be able to pull off this kind of sorcery. It is wonderful to see Carmel Bird working with such zest and verve.
Gabrielle Lord: “All the Bird trademark strands – beauty, shock and horror, a moving story based in the reality of the world, complex imagery, elegant irony and compelling prose.”
Robert Drewe: “How to describe Field of Poppies? A lush feast of wit and wisdom? Writing so rich you simply want to devour it? A forensic examination of an Australian country town?
Literary tour de force will have to do.”
Carmel Bird is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her first collection of short stories appeared in 1976. Since then she has published novels, essays, anthologies, children's books and also manuals on how to write.
2019 is the twenty-second anniversary of this website. The site gives access to a great deal of material, which can be reached here: click for link to the old website
Portrait of Carmel Bird by Lisa Roberts