He hated the word retirement, but not as much as he hated the word village, as if ageing made you a peasant or a fool. Herein lives the village idiot.
Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. His wife, Martha, is dead and his two adult children are lost to him in their own ways. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life objects he has collected over many years and tells himself he is keeping for his daughter he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.
When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbor, Jan, together, he begins to realize the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime's secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the opportunity to build something meaningful for the ones he loves.
Humorous, poignant and galvanizing by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction natural, racial, national and personal and what we can do to prevent them. The book was the 2017 winner of Australia's Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Josephine Wilson was born in England and moved to Australia in 1966. She is co-author of Geography of Haunted Places and author of Cusp. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Lit- erature, a MA Prelim from UWA, a MA in Creative Arts from Queensland University and a Ph.D. from UWA. She has reviewed for Realtime, ArtLink Magazine and for The West Australian, and is a board member for the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Currently she is working on an installation adapted from a short story; broadening her commitment to the arts across a range of disciplines.
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