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Dovey discusses the motivation for the story, her writing habits and her development as a writer. Only the Animals was longlisted for the Stella Prize, shortlisted for the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the winner of both the inaugural Readings New Australian Writing Award and the Steele Rudd Award (Short Story Collection) at the Queensland Literary Awards.
When authors write fictional stories about animals, often they’re writing about the human predicament. Author Ceridwen Dovey discovered this is often the case in researching her collection of short stories 'Only the Animals'. As she tells Sarah L’Estrange, writing the book was a literary education.
Questions and discussion points - In Only the Animals, the souls of ten animals caught up in human conflicts over the last century tell their astonishing stories of life and death, sharing their view of humans at our brutal worst and our creative best.
Aesop's Fables are one of the earliest stories featuring animal characters that talk and speak as humans do, in order to highlight human weaknesses. The fables contain a moral or lesson for behaviour - can you make a connection to Only the Animals?