In sparkling prose, Sonja Dechian’s profound, moving and wry stories speak to our deepest yearning for connection and the inevitability of our isolation.
From a terrorist cell of cyber-bullying victims working to annihilate the digital memory of their humiliation to a pandemic that leaves grieving parents battling for the media spotlight, these affecting tales invite us to examine our inability to control the world around us—and our own desires.
An Astronaut’s Life is a beautiful debut from an intelligent new voice in Australian writing.
Sonja Dechian is a writer, editor, and radio and TV producer. She has co-edited two collections of stories about the Australian refugee experience, Dark Dreams and No Place Like Home (Wakefield Press).
'Head-spinning, sometimes spine-tingling. Every story here is a strange and remarkable gem.' Wayne Macauley
‘By the final page I was fully immersed in the book’s world—one both fantastical and eerily similar to real life. I wished I could have stayed longer.’ Bookseller & Publisher
‘[It’s] great reading the work of such an inventive writer, and I’m incredibly interested to see where she takes us next.’ Readings
‘[Dechian’s] best stories have a sustained voice, simple and nimble…The places she takes you turn out to be well worth the time.’ Saturday Paper
‘An Astronaut’s Life announces the arrival of a deeply original voice.’ Weekend Australian
‘These stories don’t contain all the answers to the questions they pose, but they illuminate the ways humans adapt or otherwise to life’s challenges – both big and seemingly extreme, as well as small, domestic, and apparently insignificant. Dechian has a light touch so that while her writing is intelligent it is never dense, and An Astronaut’s Life is the salve for anyone who thinks plot-driven literary fiction is an oxymoron.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald
‘[An Astronaut’s Life] is a well-written book by an accomplished author who skillfully manages to draw you completely into the lives of the people she is writing about.’ Weekly Times
‘With a steady, no-nonsense prose style, peculiar scenarios and subtle turns in plot, An Astronaut’s Life reflects our messy world...[The stories] all share a unique quirk-quality that mixes with profound compassion.’ Rochford Street Review
|Publisher:||The Text Publishing Company|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An Astronaut’s Life is the first book by Australian editor, radio and TV producer and author, Sonja Dechain. It is a collection of nine short stories of varying length. Some are very short (10-20 pages) and might benefit from expanding; others are of perfect length (Charles Darwin’s Revenge, The Architect). Dechain touches on a range of topics: cyberbullying, asylum seeker boat people, Tour de France, mental illness and bird flu; and uses some interesting settings: the graveyard of a serial killer’s victims, a futuristic animal theme park, a birdless beach, a hospital labour ward, and a school perimeter fence. While there are some laugh-out-loud moments, Dechain’s stories will also have the reader thinking: about the experience of being in a coma, the pervasiveness of electronic media, the extinction of whole species, floral tributes to victims and the rising level of the oceans. Some stories will leave the reader a bit bemused; others are frighteningly realistic and quite possibly prescient; all are written in dazzling prose. Full of originality and intelligence, this is a remarkable debut.