My Sister Chaos
An obsessive-compulsive cartographer trapped in the mapping of her own house. A painter turned code-breaker trying to find the lover she lost in the war. Two sisters on a collision course.
In this book, two sisters escape an unknown war-torn country into separate lives of exile. The cartographer is obsessed with keeping the world in order, but finds it unravelling under her own demands. Her sister, an artist, arrives unexpectedly. Her very presence is a sign of chaos for the cartographer. But in spite of this, the sister has a firm grip on the real world, and a greater connection to the past. Chaos and order in tension provide the scaffolding for this compelling work of fiction. Presented within a world of obsession and trauma it asks whether any of us is immune to the forces of destruction. How do you know when to finish what you start? How do you know when to give up on control? How do you move on?
Winner: Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction (USA)
Shortlisted Dobbie Literary Award
Finalist: Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction (USA)
"I was intrigued by Lara Fergus's bold and original use of cartographic and mathematical metaphors, which enabled her to tell a story with two of the hallmarks of a good piece of mathematics: conceptual complexity, and economical simplicity of expression." -- Robyn Arianrhod, author of Einstein's Heroes
'Written with the precision of mathematics and the beauty of art.' --Ellen Bosman, Library Journal
'This is a brilliant book. Intelligent, insightful and complex—but totally unpretentious—My Sister Chaos charts the effects of war and exile on the individual, in a clear and superbly original examination of the devastation and personal aftermath resulting from such experiences, all the while avoiding the banal sentiments often found in such novels.'--Dominique Wilson, Wetink
Lara Fergus has worked as a researcher and writer on issues of human rights and violence against women for over a decade. She worked in Europe with various advocacy groups, particularly for newly arrived immigrant and refugee women, and in Australia she has written for organisations such as Amnesty International, the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault. She currently works for the Victorian Government on policy to prevent violence against women, and will shortly take up a consultancy with the United Nations on the same topic. This is her first novel.