In this gripping short story collection, Fikret Pajalic depicts working-class characters in all their gutsiness and glory. Featuring animals in most stories as a motif for grief and hope, Pajalic alternates between tender stories of survival and the gritty underbelly of Melbourne’s Western suburbs. Even when his characters are shady and flawed, morality and conscience shine through.
Drawing on his own experiences, Pajalic recreates first-hand the reality of coming to Australia as a refugee because of war and persecution. While many of the stories focus on the experience of Bosnian diaspora, it also tells the universal story of the refugee experience exploring homesickness, loss, grief, cultural shock, and making a new home in a landscape completely different to where you come from.
‘Raw, authentic and compelling, these stories of refugees' generational trauma and pain also honour the resilience and determination of the characters. Bracing and rewarding reading.' Paddy O'Reilly author of Other Houses
'Reminiscent of Carver, Pajalic’s stories are sharp, direct and austere. A fascinating read.' Ennis Cehic author of Sadvertising
'Like Chekhov who thinks that for a writer nothing should be unclean, Fikret takes us to murky places where English is broken and pit bulls are prized; bodies are ravaged by manual labour and generosity abounds as often as brutality. Humanity there is uncovered, revealing itself to be as instinctual and capable of ferocity and sacrifice as the many animals that populate Fikret’s stories. In Complication Fikret uncovers the origins of violence with unflinching insight and unwavering compassion.’ Lee Kofman author of The Writer Laid Bare
About Fikret Pajalic:
Fikret Pajalic came to Melbourne as a refugee, learnt English in his mid-twenties and started writing years later. He has won and placed in competitions, published in anthologies and literary magazines. His fiction has appeared in Meanjin, Overland, Westerly, Etchings, Sleepers, Antipodes, The Big Issue, Hotel Amerika, Wisconsin Review, The Minnesota Review, Fjords Review, Sheepshead Review, Bop Dead City, Structo, Paper and Ink, JAAM and elsewhere.