‘singing my sister down’ by Margo Lannagan

A friend recommended Lannagan’s collection Black Juice after she had read it at another friend’s house. “Read it,” she said, “you won’t have read anything quite like it.” Yeah, right, I thought…

‘singing my sister down’ is a dark documentation of a family’s last day with their daughter as she is sucked down into a tar pit as punishment for killing her husband. It is narrated by the girl’s youngest brother and is by turns touching, disturbing, funny and haunting.

Through our singing, I thought I heard her cry for Mumma; I tried not to, yet my ears went on hearing.
From Black Juice, Gollancz, 2004. Read it online here