Panthers and the Museum of Fire
Jen Craig

Paperback | Apr 2023 | Puncher and Wattmann | 9781922571625 | 125pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$29.95, NZD$32.95

A woman sets out from a quiet corner of Glebe in Sydney towards the bustle of Broadway and Surry Hills, carrying with her the manuscript of a childhood friend who has recently died. Her thoughts surge between past and present as she strives to understand the effect on her of her dead friend’s manuscript, Panthers and the Museum of Fire. Not only does the manuscript remind her of what she might prefer to forget — youthful ambitions, an abandoned friendship, entanglements with religion and anorexia — it also ignites in her a creative impulse.

'Panthers and the Museum of Fire defies every piece of well-meant advice handed out to novelists. The language is strange and obsessive, its central character is written with no regard as to whether the reader will like or care about her, the plot is obscure and frustrating, the setting is never picturesque. And yet it succeeds brilliantly.' – Ali Jane Smith

'Panthers and the Museum of Fire will be among my top reads for the year. Bold, original and urgent, it is a complex work of fictionalised-memoir in the style of writers such as Karl Ove Knausgård and Sheila Heti.' – Angie Andrewes, Bookseller & Publisher

'...the book plays out not like a Hitchcockian song, but rather like the slow burn of consciousness. Regrets and secrets bubble to the surface in this part-Bernhardian/part-Murnanian meditation on the lengths we go to fool ourselves while at the same time protecting ourselves from others. The long paragraphs jam up on each other like ice floes against a berg, as they carry strange recursive music and that of perfectly pitched cold-hearted thought…' – Greg Gerke, Vol. 1 Brooklyn (he is also the author of several books)

'Jen Craig is an unusual and fascinating writer, bravely digging a tunnel out of the prison of narrative convention.' – Julian Anderson, Rain Taxi