‘The Lyrebird’s Bell’ by Caitlin Galway

The lyricism of the writing and the hotbed intimacy of the relationship between the girls is what really impressed me about this piece, as well as the tantalising mystery of Antoinette’s antecedents and true name. Set in postwar Australia, it initially hints at being a fictional reworking of the famous New Zealand case where two girls murdered one of their mothers, filmed as Heavenly Creatures – however, reading on, it develops into very much its own story, curious and unsettling, with a memorable and compelling voice.

Winner of the 2020 Morton Prize, published in The Ex-Puritan: Issue 51, and available to read here