‘Horse Latitudes’ by Josephine Rowe

When I was in my early twenties I was leery and ignorant of much of the writing being produced in Australia. I had a bad case of what is referred to as ‘cultural cringe.’ Then I read Josephine Rowe and everything changed. Her stories were sharp and controlled and formally exciting. She has grown into one of the world’s greatest short story writers, and this one, ‘Horse Latitudes,’ is my favourite. It is a road trip story, a man and a woman fleeing the woman’s bad relationship in Perth, driving across the Nullabor Plain. There is heartache and danger and violence, all the hallmarks of the American roadtrip story, but Josephine renders it differently, using the hallmarks and signifiers of what is uniquely Australian, to create something beautiful and deeply felt, a story that seemed to me like I had been looking for it all my life when I first read it.  

From Here Until August, 2019, Blank Inc/Catapult