Sometimes I think it’s possible to live with anything. That we’re wired to survive-survive-survive, to grip onto the gnarliest thread until life is pried from our bones. Other times I think, it’s not possible to live at all. Not at all.
Blueberries could be described as a collection of essays, the closest term available for a book that resists classification: a blend of personal essay, polemic, prose poetry, true-crime journalism and confession that considers a fragmented life, reflecting on what it means to be a woman, a body, an artist. It is both a memoir and an interrogation of memoir. It is a new horizon in storytelling.
In crystalline prose, Savage explores the essential questions of the examined life: what is it to desire? What is it to accommodate oneself to the world? And at what cost?
Ellena Savage is an author, teacher, and student. Blueberries is her debut essay collection. Ellena is currently studying Greek and researching a new book in Athens, with support from the Marten Bequest. Blueberries was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.
Never before has memoir read quite like this. From the opening pages of Ellena Savage’s Blueberries, the reader is tipped into the chaotic and fiercely intelligent mind of the author, travelling with her to Portugal to track down the status of an assault charge laid over a decade ago. This searing and technically outstanding essay is the first of a collection that challenges, tests and demands engagement from the reader.
In writing Blueberries, Savage has uttered a challenge to the world to discard preconceptions about the form and structure of an essay or memoir, and to instead join her on a journey of experimentation that is fuelled by her strong, independent voice throughout.
In form and in content, Blueberries is exquisite.
‘Blueberries is clever, candid, and thoroughly fresh.’ Rosalind Moran, ArtsHub
‘Savage deftly shifts between stylistic devices, narrative voices and time, and the result is breathtaking.’ Roz Bellamy, The Guardian
‘Defying categorisation, Blueberries is unlike much else in Australian writing at the moment, and heralds Savage as a major new voice in experimental nonfiction.’ The Saturday Paper