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UQP acquires a new essay collection from Sarah Walker
Posted 06.08.2020

UQP acquires a new essay collection from Sarah Walker

UQP is delighted to announce that we have acquired Sarah Walker’s first book, a collection of personal essays and cultural criticism on the unruly body in late capitalism.

The First Time I Thought I was Dying examines the societal demands on our bodies to behave in certain ways, and unpacks how we are taught to fear and punish the disobedient and chaotic physical self. The essays deal with sexuality, body image, mental health, grief and – given Sarah’s background as an actor and photographer – the roles that theatre and visual art play in these issues. UQP has acquired world rights and will publish in 2021.

Sarah Walker says: ‘I’m thrilled to be working with UQP and Aviva Tuffield in the development of this collection of essays. This time of profound upheaval feels like the right environment to be considering the complex relationships between our bodies and the systems that govern them. I’ve spent a lifetime feeling frustrated about my body and mind not doing what they’re told. This book is proving an exciting space to examine the absurdities and power of the messy body in a world that demands that we keep it together.’

Publisher Aviva Tuffield says: ‘I have been blown away whenever I’ve encountered Sarah’s writing over the past couple of years – including her Calibre shortlisted essay ‘Floundering’ on abortion, and her current piece in ABR on grief and organising her mother’s funeral during this pandemic. She is a writer of exceptional talent and this book is a testament to that.’

Sarah Walker is a Melbourne-based writer, artist and photographer. Her writing is primarily creative nonfiction, considering issues of anxiety, control and intimacy. She was runner-up in the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize and was awarded the 2020 ABR Victorian Rising Star award. She has been a finalist in the 2020 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing, a semi-finalist in the 2020 Disquiet Literary Contest and was runner-up in the 2017 Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award. Her work is included in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of Letters, and her most recent essay, Contested Breath, is live on the ABR website. She also reviews theatre, and co-hosted the podcast Contact Mic.

She also is one of Australia’s most respected commercial theatre and festival photographers, shooting for hundreds of clients across Australia and the world, including Melbourne Festival, MTC, Malthouse Theatre, Chunky Move, Arts House, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Next Wave Festival. Her work is on permanent display at Arts House in Melbourne. She has been a winner of the Best Portrait prize at the CCP Salon, a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, a two-time finalist in the Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women and a semi-finalist in the Moran Photographic Portrait Prize. Visit her website here.

For more information please contact Louise Cornegé, Marketing & Publicity Manager, on louisec@uqp.uq.edu.au or 07 3346 7932.