The Circular of Life
Tiffany Tsao • 4 March 2022
'What’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die,' observes the titular spider of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. This week’s selection of writing takes us through life’s stages. We begin in childhood: Anna Roscoe’s eight-year-old self visits the cave where her older sister dwells, and Angelina Hurley humorously recounts getting hauled to church by her grandma.
Sar Fegan takes us through the magic of being young and in best-friend love – and the agony of having to part.
We move into parenthood, or rather, the violent disruption of it. Elfie Shiosaki shares from her research into the letters written to chief protector A.O. Neville by Noongar parents pleading for the return of their stolen children. Shiosaki includes letters written by her own great-great-grandfather, who campaigned for more than a decade for his four children to be returned.
Greying W<J>P Newnham gathers with The Boys to pay final respects to their mate Kenny. 'Each of us had signed the guest book and taken a memorial card on which Kenny-G was immortalised in all his OG glory...grinning at us from the hereafter.' Vivian Blaxell reflects on her lifetime of disappointments in the context of the bigger picture: the disappointments scattered throughout human history and the wider world.
We round off this week’s selection with a retrospective of a whole life lived. Shu-Ling Chua pays tribute to the life, work, and legacy of the great writer Eileen Chang in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Chang’s birth.
And we end with an invitation to shape the future. Have a great idea for an edition of The Circular? Read through to the conclusion. We’re seeking three guest editors for later this year.
The Circular Seeks Guest Editors
Exciting news! We’re seeking three guest editors to curate the following editions for the first weeks of September, October, and November 2022:
- An audio edition that brings together compelling non-fiction audio recordings according to an organising principle of the guest editor’s choice.
- A graphic edition that brings together compelling graphic non-fiction according to an organising principle of the guest editor’s choice.
- An open edition, curated according to any organising principle of the guest editor’s choice.
Guest editors will be paid. Head to the open call on our website for further details.