REVIEWS

 

 

Born Sleeping reminds us... that one of the great gifts of literature is the creation of a complex interiority that encourages readerly self-reflection and reflection on a wider society. As well, the very tenor of the narrator’s mind—her constant questions, qualifications, self-castigations, her arduous struggle for new understandings—reminds us that literature as a category of writing typically complicates, rather than simplifies, the problematic business of living.”

​—  SUSAN MIDALIA

Born Sleeping is a strikingly blunt and intense account of a character's emotional resistance and awakening as she confronts a family tragedy. The narrative develops like an extraordinary CT scan of the feeling mind and especially the feeling body, to reveal deepening layers of emotion and personal empathy. It is contemporary writing at its most unflinching.”

​—  PHILIP SALOM

 

“Gildfind’s novella is visceral, exhilarating and unsettling. Emotions are laid bare in all their ugly thrashing glory: live mercurial animals that for all their maudlin volatility manage to steer clear of heartbreak cliché and navel-gazing mind-anguish, instead manifesting materially and explicitly in the body and the environment. Fear is an 'iris spontaneously propelled inwards', memories grow 'like bones and hair and nails', and ‘the nursery air is swollen with expectant waiting 'like the body of the mother.”

–– GRACE YEE, re: Born Sleeping

 

“Remarkable for its compression and the startling detail with which it registers its world, Born Sleeping is about loss, but also about connection and love, and what it means to tell stories – overtly and unconsciously. Gildfind’s writing is rhythmic and lyrical, and always tight. This book is an impressive achievement.”

— FIONA WRIGHT

"Knowing and not knowing is indicative of the many binaries at play here, apart from the overt life vs death. There is so much left unsaid about stillbirth. Grief silences the family and others don’t know what to say. Life goes on? This is the most unfair. The shock and despair are handled by Gildfind with sensitivity and poise, while still leaving room for liberating, relieving humour. This is exceptional writing." ​
—  BOB MOORE, Good Reading Magazine, re: Born Sleeping
"Gildfind takes her stories to dark places, but it never feels graphic or exploitative. Wrapped up in all the darkness is always a strong connection back to human emotion, and the writing feels intensely aware of the troubling subject matter it is tackling."
ELAINE MEAD, Aniko Press, re: Born Sleeping

 

Born Sleeping... like the best novellas, combines compression and resonance, economy and depth. Fiercely intelligent, admirably humane, deeply moving and carefully crafted, the book is, quite simply, unmissable.

​—  SUSAN MIDALIA

"Gildfind’s prose is lyrical and sparse. She manages to build expansive cultural commentary into a very personal and individual event. Trauma imbues this story and not just the trauma of the baby’s death. Loss and the ricochets of grief are multi-faceted, and Gildfind explores this with authenticity. "
—  ELAINE MEAD, Aniko Press, re: Born Sleeping

"A quiet brilliance is on display in several of the collection’s stories, expressing the immensity of a life in a single moment or gesture… compelling and disturbing in equal measure…”

MARK AZZOPARDI, The Sydney Review of Books, re: The Worry Front

The Worry Front is a remarkably assured debut ... interested in messiness rather than order, in what we cannot fully understand or make sense of, and with the darkness and occasional violence at work within us."

FIONA WRIGHT


"Not so long ago there were many publications that included short stories. These have been replaced by the trivia of facebook, the superficial synopses that make up Twitter, the MacDonaldisation of intellectual and creative life... The Worry Front reminds us what we are in danger of losing."​

—  ANDREA GOLDSMITH

"… Many of her stories represent a mundane, purposeful physical action from beginning to end, artfully tracing a character’s thoughts as they reach toward a moment of introspection or partial self-knowledge. Behind these stories of the body in its various phases is a philosophical idealism, and this is likely what leads Nicholas Birns to compare Gildfind with Woolf and Mansfield…"

MARK AZZOPARDI, The Sydney Review of Books, re: The Worry Front

"It's a volume of stories with variegated material, delivered in confident streamlined prose and a vivid range of voices."

CAMERON WOODHEAD, The Age, re: The Worry Front

 

“Gildfind’s intense, visceral, surprising stories of desire and hesitation make this a brilliant and earthy debut.”

​—  PHILIP SALOM, re: The Worry Front

 

"'The Ferryman', is a dark tale full of sinister content told in a stream of consciousness style reminiscent of Katherine Mansfield but with less manners."

DONNA MAZZA, Westerly, re: The Worry Front

"With a suggestiveness reminiscent of Woolf or Mansfield, laced with the wariness of a faster, more interdependent, and less gender-scripted world, Gildfind brings a new generation's voice into Australian literature.”

—  NICHOLAS BIRNS, re: The Worry Front

“Gildfind’s collection is delicately structured and assuredly narrated ... with remarkable subtlety and an impressive lightness of touch. These are not stories of high drama and piercing epiphanies but of small moments and movements, and minute shifts in emotion and understanding.”

FIONA WRIGHT, re: The Worry Front

“Gildfind presents stories of intimacy and emotional bite, that reach into the grain of feeling yet remain alert and verbally poised."

—  NICHOLAS BIRNS, re: The Worry Front

 

"These stories hold you during reading, sometimes tensely and breathlessly, and they stay with you long after you’ve returned to the rush and splutter of contemporary life."

— ANDREA GOLDSMITH, re: The Worry Front

 

"Gildfind treats animals badly but does it very well, with great sensitivity to them as characters. The black dog of this story jumped off the pages, slick and beautiful, epitomising the beauty and ruin that is the core of this collection."

​— DONNA MAZZA, Westerly, re: Quarry

 

"... a disturbing invitation into a world-weary, savagely damaged mind of a Frankenstein's monster in the everyday."

—  GROOVE 107.7FM, re: Quarry

 

"...Quarry is a searing portrait of difficult encounters between masculinity, isolation and vulnerability, both within our main character and in his interactions with the world around him."

—  GEORGIA SYMONS, ArtsHub

 

"Rarely has the experience of the lived physical body been so eloquently pinned to the page."
—  ZORA SANDERS, re: "The Broken Body"