Author(s): Michelle Cahill
"Line by line, Cahill's writing is musical, assured: cumulatively, her seriousness is evident, her ambition impressive." - Hilary Mantel Letter to Pessoa is the first collection of short stories by award-winning Goan-Australian poet Michelle Cahill. It is an imaginative tour de force, portraying the experiences of a whole range of characters, including a scientist, a cat and a young Indian female version of Joseph Conrad, in settings across the world, from Barcelona to Capetown, Boston to Chiang Mai, Kathmandu to Krakow. Like the poet Fernando Pessoa, who gives the collection its title, and who created as many as seventy versions of himself, Cahill displays a remarkable inventiveness, making distant landscapes and situations come alive, in compelling detail, as they express the fear and longing, obsession and outrage, of the people caught up in them. Displaying its awareness of the power of writing to create realities, the collection also includes a number of fictions in letter form, to Jacques Derrida, Virginia Woolf, Jean Genet and Margaret Atwood - and to JM Coetzee, from his character Melanie Isaacs.