Author(s): Courtney Collins
It is the dawn of the twentieth century in Australia and a woman has done an unspeakable thing. Twenty-two-year-old Jessie has served a two-year sentence for horse rustling. As a condition of her release she is apprenticed to Fitzgerald 'Fitz' Henry, who wants a woman to allay his loneliness in a valley populated by embittered ex-soldiers. Fitz wastes no time in blackmailing Jessie and involving her in his business of horse rustling and cattle duffing. When Fitz is wounded in an accident he hires Aboriginal stockman, Jack Brown, to steal horses with Jessie. Soon both Jack Brown and Jessie are struggling against the oppressive and deadening grip of Fitz. One catastrophic night turns Jessie's life on its head and she must flee for her life. From her lonely outpost, the mountains beckon as a place to escape. First she must bury the evidence. But how do you bury the evidence when the evidence is part of yourself? Inspired by the life of Jessie Hickman, legendary twentieth-century bushranger, The Burial is a stunning debut novel, a work of haunting originality and power.
The Burial is the debut novel of Courtney Collins. It has been optioned for a feature film by Pure Pictures. Courtney's next work in progress, The Walkman Mix has already received attention through the Melbourne Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award 2011. Courtney grew up in the Hunter Valley in NSW. She now lives on the Goulburn River in regional Victoria.