Australian Fiction

February 2019

The Hot Desk:
Working Hot by Mary Fallon

Working Hot is a novel about dykes in Sydney, written with an experimental verve that still dazzles today. Author Mary Fallon was 38 when she published it. I was 23, writing short fiction, working in Abbey’s Bookshop to pay the rent, and unsure of my sexuality. I remember reading The Kinsey Report out the back during lunch hour and being blown away by all the gay sex in 1950s USA. If, I calculated, there was the proverbial 10 per cent back then, surely now there were that many more. Indeed, in late 1980s Sydney, it didn’t take long to find sexy dykes, for this was the beginning of an explosion of queer female performativity in bars and at parties, overtly and often abjectly sexual, that has never abated, despite myriad oppressive forces. What the wildest girls did on stage infected our entire community, making Sydney one of the dirtiest, dykiest places on earth, if not the.