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Cat Sparks

The One Book That Shook My Faith in Nature and Humanity

I was born in the swinging sixties. Australian, but brought up on a steady British diet of Enid Blyton, Swallows and Amazons, Joan Aiken and Narnia; stories featuring plucky young kids banding together and fighting the just fight. Stories in which goodness generally prevailed.

Leaning towards science fiction early on, fall-of-civilization scenarios compelled me like no other. The basic concept seemed romantic and intriguing: our world becomes a wild frontier with the old rules wiped away. A broken, silent, boundary-free world held so much more appeal than the grind of nine to five, where people intentionally dressed alike and willingly traded adventures for appointments.

[The Death of Grass was the book that shattered my preconceived notions of human hope and goodness as default in literature.]