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Making a bird of it

Claire Aman will be signing copies of Bird Country at the Book Warehouse at Yamba Fair Shopping Centre on this Saturday December 2, from 10am to noon. Image: Contributed

Geoff Helisma

Grafton author Claire Aman is inspired by her hometown and living in the Clarence Valley.

As she goes about her daily routines, the stories of ‘ordinary’ people move in and out of her observational window.

Over the past 10 years, Aman has written 16 of these stories, which are now retold in her just published book, Bird Country.

Walking her dog around Grafton or just watching and meeting people while she lived next to the Grafton bridge are examples of where she found her ‘food for thought’.

A review by Emily Paull on the arts.theaureview.com website makes this observation: “I think this is a collection that will bear reading and rereading, and rereading again in the years to come.

“…The magic in these stories comes from a unique way of seeing and a unique way of recording.

“Each piece tells the story of an ordinary person who is dealing with their own personal demons.”

A four-star review by Alan Vaarwerk, who is the editor of online magazine Kill Your Darlings, says the book contains “stories of fierce family loyalties, old age, poverty and small dignities, the kind that country towns seem to embody”.

“Aman’s writing inhabits a comfortable middle ground between some of Australian literature’s florid and laconic tendencies—her prose feels lived-in, natural and assured,” Vaarwerk writes.

Aman started writing in the mid-nineties, plotting fiction as she drove into Grafton each morning from Kangaroo Creek to her job as an environmental planner.

Writing things down has been her way to make sense of things in her life.

Being a published writer is a bonus.

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