The Details: On love, death and reading (Tegan Bennett Daylight, Scribner)
Tegan Bennett Daylight knows a thing or two about reading. As a writer, critic and creative writing lecturer, Bennett Daylight has a careful eye for detail and knows how it can illuminate a scene or a memory, take what seems ordinary and transform it into a defining moment. In her new nonfiction work The Details—part memoir, part love letter to some of her most beloved books and authors—Bennett Daylight skilfully blends observations about reading with recollections from her own life, both the emotionally momentous (losing her mother; what childbirth did to her vagina) and the more everyday (teaching literature to tertiary students; her love of The Triffids’ album Born Sandy Devotional). With incisive, empathic prose, she reveals the delicate interplay between the books we read and the experiences that make us who we are. From the sensory detail of Frances Hodgson Burnett to the poetic imagery of Helen Garner and the witty erudition of S J Perelman, Bennett Daylight’s travels through her bookshelf are as varied and interesting as her commentary on living a meaningful life. The Details is a book for readers and writers alike: an intimate and wise celebration of the joy and solace we find in books.
Carody Culver is a freelance writer, assistant editor at Griffith Review and a contributing editor at Peppermint magazine