Winter 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2002 |

Mrs. Holland

This won't get me into Heaven, Richard thinks. He's made the shelves to match the old joinery as far as he can, using screws and machined moldings and a spray-on finish. The old woodwork is hand-planed and somehow softer, but with the hymn books in place the difference won't be visible. He knows the magnificence of the work in the cross-beams, like the ribs of an upturned ship, and the pulpit, which he imagines as the bow of a ship, cutting through still water. And now there are his shelves. It might not get me into Heaven, Richard thinks, but it isn't going to keep me out. He is the second person in the family to lose a house to creditors. He built the house himself; a tall hollow house with a mezzanine and skylights and pointed glass windows slicing up so high that until you got used to it, all you could do was turn your face up and shuffle around and stare. The whole family came; the brother who is his mother's favorite, and his sister Linda, who lives so far away. They d

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Brenda Walker has written four novels and one memoir. The most recent novel, The Wing of Night (Penguin, 2006) won the Asher Award, the Nita B. Kibble Award, and was shortlished for the Miles Franklin Award. Her memoir, Reading by Moonlight (Hamish Hamilton, 2010) won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Nonfiction and the Nita B. Kibble Award. She is chair of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia.

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