The story behind the story...
Late summer, 2014, I wandered into an antique shop and came out with a handful of postcards, some of them over one hundred years old. I was intrigued by the muted palettes, their dry texture and faintly bookish smell, and the scratchy copperplate handwriting on the reverse of the cards, often with no message, just a name, as though the postcard said it all. The images were pretty and sweet and kitsch, and strangely appealing. Ephemeral relics of a different people, a different sensibility, a different world. I spread them out on my desk, wondering why I'd bought them.
A week later, I heard there was a call-out for submissions for a new anthology of love stories by the Melbourne publishing house, Inkerman and Blunt. And a character presented herself: a woman called Mallory who buys vintage postcards for her boyfriend for Valentine's day, but really, they are for her, because she's longing for something, she doesn't know quite what it is -- she's in her thirties with a child and she's never been 'in love' before, in that mad and powerful way that sometimes grips us so intensely it seems to wipe out every other thought and feeling. And then a man she knows slightly takes her hand to demonstrate an old folk dance, and it happens, only she is committed elsewhere....
As a Valentine's Day present, you can read the story below.
You can buy a copy of Australian Love Stories at a reduced Valentine's Day price: here