Shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize

Axiomatic – Maria Tumarkin

Nonfiction · Brow Books

Axiomatic

About the book

“Maria Tumarkin’s Axiomatic is an unwieldy, expansive beast that combines lyrical essay with psychological reportage.”

– 2019 Stella Prize Judges

Maria Tumarkin

About the author


Maria Tumarkin

Maria Tumarkin is a writer and cultural historian. She is the author of three acclaimed books of ideas: TraumascapesCourage, and Otherland, and all three were shortlisted for literary prizes. Tumarkin’s essays have appeared in The Best Australian Essays, Griffith ReviewMeanjinThe MonthlySydney Review of BooksThe AgeThe Australian, and Inside Story. Tumarkin is involved in wide-ranging artistic collaborations with visual artists, theatre makers and audio designers. She was a 2013–14 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow in humanities and is a member of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s programming committee. Maria teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne.

Further Reading



Reviews 

“It is her most vital, compressed and compelling book to date.” Shannon Burns, Sydney Review of Books

“Tumarkin, who brings her own experiences to play, writes in a sometimes fierce voice that is utterly her own and brings with it an inquiring mind that together make for a thought-provoking experience.” Jason Steger, The Age

“Everyone is looking for the next Helen Garner and Maria Tumarkin shares with Garner a gimlet eye for the flaws in official systems, along with a fascination for the narratives nested in everyday lives. Axiomatic’s symphonic structure, however, recalls Svetlana Alexievich, the Belarusian journalist and Nobel Laureate. She is another for whom reality attracts like a magnet, who has made a career out of appropriating and braiding voices and documents, seeing the world as a chorus and a collage. With this remarkable, wild, risk-laden book, Tumarkin has earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as both of them.”
The Saturday Paper

“Again and again in Axiomatic, Tumarkin confronts the meagreness of the written word in the face of trauma as she muses on her inability to write the text she had intended (“I was working on this book and a year passed, then two, and two more …”). Yet again and again, she herself demonstrates what literary prose can do.” Jeff Sparrow, Sydney Morning Herald

“Tumarkin does not shy away from the uncomfortable, from the too-hard-to-be-written-or-even-contemplated, but faces it head on, with dignity, and with knowledge of her own fallibility.” Caitlin Cassidy, Right Now

Links

Watch Maria Tumarkin discuss Axiomatic with Melina Harvey at the Wheeler Centre

Listen to Maria Tumarkin discuss Axiomatic with Richard Fidler at the Sydney Writers Festival

Judges’ report


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