Melissa Thorne


About Melissa Thorne

Melissa Thorne is a recipient of the 2019 CA-SRB Emerging Critics Fellowship. She has a Master of Philosophy in Australian literature from the University of Queensland. Her thesis examined the promotion, interpretation and reception of contemporary Australian novels in the United Kingdom. Previously, she studied English and French at the University of Oxford.


Articles about Melissa Thorne

Articles by Melissa Thorne

Taking the Risk: Invented Lives by Andrea Goldsmith

Invented Lives (2019), Andrea Goldsmith’s eighth novel, explores how and why people construct the lives they live. The novel’s four protagonists come to understand how they have formed the identities they project and how these differ from how they perceive themselves. To invent is derived from the Latin invenire: to find out or discover. By discovering how they have created their identities, Goldsmith’s characters can decide how best to understand themselves.

Nervous Nostalgia

The two authors acknowledge tales of real displaced people, including refugees, as inspiration for their fictional stories. They express gratitude to be able to survive, live and write these books. In their narratives, the quieter moments of survival are most striking: how tasks considered mundane become crucial and inescapable. Robinson and Bishop invite their reader to imagine their own displacement, their own losses and even their own end.

Blood Calls to Blood

Faced with the instability of the people closest to her, Laveau-Harvie finds comfort in the mountainous landscape: the predictable changing of the seasons, the beauty of the ‘opalescent’ peaks and even the inhospitable nature of the jagged rocks. Laveau-Harvie calls the Rockies ‘practically a character in the book’. The other prominent ‘erratic’, then, is the Okotoks Erratic, a huge boulder deposited by glacial flow thousands of years ago which cracked and ‘fell in on itself’, and which ‘dominates the landscape’ near her parents’ ranch house. The story is bookended by the geographical and spiritual origins of this fissured rock. It offers hope for stability after a rupture, but is also a reminder of the family’s relative insignificance against the natural history of their home region.