genres: Dark comedy, Satire
Evan Johnstone was born in Sydney and still lives there.
He collaborated with Peter Fairlie on Simply Living Magazine’s Worried Animal Calendar 1987.
In 2001 he published Abandoned Places, a collection of short stories, and in 2010 Miloslav Navratil’s Prague Calendar, containing an introduction to a non-existent Czech author and photos of Prague with captions from Navratil’s work.
The stories contemplate romantic staples such as the primacy of love and the consolations of art, among other compensations for the occasional difficulty encountered in life. Stories of crime, death and restaurant reviewing complete a darkly frothy mix founded on irony, a playfully surrealistic realism and poetic prose.
Characters in these stories are far from rebels, but most are not comfortable in themselves or in the world. Loneliness is a problem, as is aspiring to an amorphous ‘more’ to their lives. Events that befall them may be fantastical, but striking images, an ironic narrative voice and dark humour ground the stories in the real world.