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McKay, Laura Jean

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1978-    ) Australian author whose very Near Future novel, The Animals in That Country (2020), describes a planetary Pandemic whose most radical effect is an opening of the gates of Perception – and, it may be, actual language (see Communication; Linguistics) – between Homo sapiens and all the other citizens of Earth. After this "zooflu" hits, forcing many humans to wear masks and earplugs to fend off oceans of painful input from the entire world, a terrible awareness of the cost of life as previously enjoyed begins to disable human society, which will not survive unless it is fundamentally restructured. The language of the telling reaches moments of revelatory density. Some hope is offered of survival. This novel won the Arthur C Clarke Award. [JC]

Laura Jean McKay

born Orbost, Shire of East Gippsland [country of GunaiKurna people], Australia: 11 April 1978

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