A groundbreaking new work of non-fiction by one of Australia’s most respected essay writers.
No Document is an elegy for a friendship and artistic partnership cut short by death. The memory of this collaboration becomes a model for how we might relate to others in sympathy, solidarity and rebellion. At once intimate and expansive, Anwen Crawford’s book-length essay explores loss in many forms: disappeared artworks, effaced histories, abandoned futures. Written out of the turmoil of grief and the imperfection of memory, her perspective embraces histories of protest and revolution, art-making and cinema, border policing, and especially our relationships with animals. No Document shows how love, kinship and resistance echo through time.
Anwen Crawford is best known for her writing as a critic, and here she draws also on her background in poetry, and as a zine-maker and visual artist, to develop a new way of writing about the past, using a symphonic method of composition and collage. No Document is an urgent work of non-fiction that reimagines the boundaries that divide us – as people, nations and species – and asks how we can create forms of solidarity that endure.
No Documents is lit throughout by a patient, controlled rage against injustice and suffering. Anwen Crawford deploys fragments to powerful effect in this essay collage, drawing out unexpected connections that startle and illuminate like the flash of a camera. The result is a far-ranging work of mourning and a profoundly moving act of remembrance.
Michelle de Kretser