In the Time of Foxes, by Jo Lennan
27 October 2021
I can’t say I’m thankful for everything the Australian Prime Minister may do, but the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards I can place in the positive category. Not only do the awards send some much needed recognition the way of Australian writers, they’ve also put some titles I was previously unaware of before my eyes.
In the Time of Foxes (published by Simon & Schuster, May 2020), by Sydney based Australian writer Jo Lennan is one such example. Somehow I seemed to miss seeing this title on the bustling Bookstagram, but it has been shortlisted for this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Foxes are perceived to be devious yet shrewd, traits the characters featured in this thirteen short story collection share. But each of them needs more than street-smarts as they attempt to navigate the places and circumstances they find themselves in.
Places ranging from Hackney, in London’s East, Tokyo, and a cafe in Sydney. In nearly every story foxes make an appearance in some way, though perhaps they are absent in the tale set on Mars, as in the red planet. Here a journalist seems to be in trouble of some sort, and in the absence of a nearby fox, possibly needs to think like one, if he is to survive.