Melbourne writer Jennifer Down’s debut novel Our Magic Hour was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. Her work has appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper and the ABC’s The Drum. She writes a monthly column on words and language for Overland.
Our Magic Hour, now published by Text, is described as a”story of love, loss and discovery… capturing that moment when being young and invincible gives way to being open and vulnerable, when one terrible act changes a life forever”.
Daily Review asked her what she’s listening to at the moment.
Blondin Makes an Omelette (Gareth Liddiard)
Liddiard’s one of my favourite storytellers and this song about wirewalker Charles Blondin, told from his understudy’s perspective, is staggering. The lines ‘I’m not here because he’s tall, I’m only here to see him fall / If I get on the wagon now, it’ll only be to run him down’ break my heart every time.
I wish I could write something that feels like this song sounds. It’s only five minutes long, but it just explodes and splits open. It’s bleak in a reckless way.
Upgrade U (Beyoncé)
This goes so hard. It’s weirdly confidence-boosting; you listen to it once and feel like you can do anything.
Palaces of Montezuma (Grinderman)
My gold standard for love songs. Unabashedly romantic, a bit demented, great chorus for kissing.
Heroin (Patti Smith covering Lou Reed)
I saw Patti cover this not long after Lou Reed died. She was so joyful and defiant and majestic. I stood beside my sister in this sweaty New York concert hall and bawled.
Our Magic Hour is published by Text
You can buy it here