2020 began with firestorms raging through the country, followed by floods, and then a global pandemic that has changed how Australians think, feel and live. We all experienced this year differently, but one thing rings true for all of us: this is a year we won’t forget.
This anthology brings together original work from a diverse collection of Australian voices, from writers to scientists, journalists to historians, all expressing what 2020 meant to them. They write of ash falling from the sky, fish dying on riverbanks, loved ones lost, loved ones reunited, the historical resonance of fire and plague for Indigenous Australians, geopolitical tensions, the changed nature of travel, friendships rekindled on Zoom, the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, the state of the arts and the media, the importance of nurturing our inner lives, communities destroyed and communities rebuilding.
Fire Flood Plague is a vital cultural record of the resilience and humanity needed in these extraordinary times.
Including original pieces from Lenore Taylor, Nyadol Nuon, Christos Tsiolkas, Melissa Lucashenko, Billy Griffiths, Jess Hill, Kim Scott, Brenda Walker, Jane Rawson, Omar Sakr, Richard McGregor, Jennifer Mills, Gabrielle Chan, John Birmingham, Tim Flannery, Rebecca Giggs, Kate Cole-Adams, George Megalogenis, James Bradley, Alison Croggon, Melanie Cheng, Kirsten Tranter, Tom Griffiths, Joëlle Gergis and Delia Falconer.
Fire Flood Plague
Sophie Cunningham is the author of six books, her most recent being City of Trees, a former publisher and editor, was a co-founder of the Stella Prize and is now an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University's Non/fiction Lab. In 2019, Cunningham was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to literature.