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Little plastic shipwreck

Death of a crowd-pleaser

By Cate Kennedy   October 2013

© De Agostini/ Getty Images

Cate Kennedy is an award-winning Australian novelist and poet, whose work has been published widely, including in the New Yorker. “Kennedy writes with the warm understanding and cold precision of a master,” says the novelist David Malouf.

The story below comes from her latest book, the short story collection Like A House On Fire. “I’m interested in characters who are knocked sideways unexpectedly,” says Kennedy, “and making them behave as credibly as real people in the various ways they cope. Usually by the time I’ve…

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