Certifiable Truths

Certifiable Truths – stories of love and madness. This collection of writing by Australian writers is diverse in its understandings, moving between the skilful and ingenuous ragged horror of the loss of one’s ‘right’ mind, to more writerly examinations where all the ingenuity of the writer has been utilised.

Allen & Unwin 1998. ISBN 1864483377 Available (pb used & new) from abebooks, amazon, and other good secondhand booksellers. Selected and Edited by Jane Messer.


Contributors include Carmel Bird, Luke Davies, Sara Dowse, Susan Johnson, Mireille Juchau, Joyce Kornblatt, Jane Messer, Sally Morrison, Tim Richards and Amy Witting. 

“…madness is not a subject like cricket or coffee. Either you go down deep or you don’t do it at all. And that’s where Messer has gone. The movement here is vertical, not horizontal. We’re not travelling but tunnelling.”
Barry Oakley, The Australian

‘….eros, like art, involves risk, the risk of pregnancy, the risk of disease—or commitment, the greatest risk of all. And like art, it will bring you to the point of madness. Art is simply a more conscious dredging, a dive towards the treasure of the deep…Most of us return with our handful of peals, but some dive down too far…’ Sara Dowse, ‘Pearl Divers’.

‘And then there’s the couch—have you ever seen the couch? Chase-longue type thing draped with a huge Persian rug about which Harriet has never stopped talking. I confess it is very handsome and truly inviting.’ Carmel Bird, ‘The girl in the Freud Museum’

“The stories and essays are almost without exception tight and beautifully crafted. They are strikingly different in style and voice. Jane Messer has not rounded up the usual suspects…”
Delia Falconer, Australian Book Review