Author: Michelle Cahill

Mina, a writer, is navigating her place in the world, balancing creativity, academia, her sexuality and the expectation that a wife and mother abandons herself for others. For her, like so many women of mixed ancestry, it is too easy to be erased. But her fire and intellect refuse to bow. She discovers ‘the dark, adorable’ Eurasian woman Daisy Simmons, whom Peter Walsh plans to marry in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Daisy disappeared from Woolf’s pages, her story unfinished – never given a voice in the novel, nor a footnote in any of the admiring Woolf scholarship that followed.

While dealing with the remains of another life, Mina decides to write Daisy’s story. Travelling from Australia to England, India and China, freelancing and researching, she has to navigate cultural and race barriers, trying hard not to look back or flinch at the personal cost. Like Woolf, her writing both sustains and overwhelms her. But in releasing Daisy from her fictional destiny, Mina finds the stubbornness and strength to also break free.

A meditation on art, race and class in a postcolonial world, powerfully recentring those in the margins of Anglo-centric histories and fictions, its exquisite telling demands we listen.

About the author

Michelle Cahill is the author of fiction, essays and three collections of poetry, including Vishvarupa, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and Letter to Pessoa, a short-story collection that won a 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Glenda Adams Award) and was shortlisted for the 2017 Steele Rudd Queensland Literary Award. Born in Kenya, she attended primary school in London before migrating to Australia. She lives in Sydney, where she graduated in Medicine and Arts. She is editor of the online literary magazine Mascara and co-editor of the anthology Contemporary Asian Australian Poets. Michelle was awarded the 2020 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. Her short story ‘Duende’ won the 2014 Hilary Mantel International Short Story Award and ‘Borges and I’ was shortlisted in the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize.

Daisy & Woolf
Author Michelle Cahill
First published by Hachette Australia
Reproduced by permission of Hachette Australia

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