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ISBN: 9781925816716
Dimensions: C Format: 23x15.2cm
Pages: 232
Publication year: 2021
Publisher: Fremantle Press
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Eye of a Rook

Written by Josephine Taylor


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In 1860s London, Arthur sees his wife, Emily, suddenly struck down by a pain for which she can find no words, forced to endure harmful treatments and reliant on him for guidance. Meanwhile, in contemporary Perth, Alice, a writer, and her older husband, Duncan, find their marriage threatened as Alice investigates the history of hysteria, female sexuality and the treatment of the female body – her own and the bodies of those who came before.


‘A masterful exploration of the tangled relationship between body and self; bold and intellectually tough, and intensely lyrical.’ Lee Kofman

Eye of a Rook is raw and intelligent, a searing depiction of the secret journey of female bodies.’ Donna Mazza

‘Courageous and enthralling … this compassionate, beautifully written book explores important questions about the forces that make us who we are and who we might wish to become.’ Susan Midalia

‘… in drawing on her knowledge and lived experience, Taylor has given voice to both her characters and the under-represented community to which they belong with sensitivity, intelligence and insight.’ The Weekend West

‘… it is an important and powerful [read] which both showcases the versatility and the insightfulness of its writer.’ The AU Review

‘A compassionate debut that explores literary history and the relationship between body and self.’ Readings

Eye of a Rook is a well crafted novel that weaves a compelling fictional narrative into historical and contemporary facts on the treatment of women with chronic pain.’ Subiaco Post

Eye of a Rook centres the voices of women in extreme pain in a compelling, intelligent, lyrical and distinctly feminist narrative.’ Writing WA

a novel that is compelling, well-paced, and engaging from start to finish.’ Australian Book Review

Eye of a Rook brings into sharp focus a hidden condition experienced by too many women, and the difficulties they continue to experience in having the condition correctly diagnosed.’ Beauty and Lace 

‘Taylor’s style is exquisite, detailed and evocative; there is little doubt that she is a skilled and accomplished writer. The worlds and women portrayed in this book come alive in a burst of language and imagery that will keep you reading until you’re wishing for more.’ Westerly

an exciting new historical novel The Nerd Daily

‘This debut novel by Josephine Taylor is replete with artfully poetic language and compelling insights to the inner turmoil of its characters.’ Adele Purrsisted

‘While remaining brutally realistic throughout, this novel is a life-affirming
and hopeful exploration of what can grow out of an adversity no one would wish to befall them.’ Journal of Sex and Martial Therapy Review

‘In interweaving the novel’s two temporal threads, Taylor crafts narrative voices that feel distinctive and authentic Kalgoorlie Miner

‘The dual narratives separated by centuries not only allow readers to draw parallels between the two time periods, but also creates dramatic tension that heightens the emotional and physical turmoil of the characters.’ Good Reading

Eye of a Rook dares to travel to uncomfortable places of the flesh and spirit, and does so with lyricism and visceral empathy.’ Historical Novel Society


WA Premier’s Book Awards (Shortlisted 2021)

Pages: 232
Publication Year: 2021
Publisher: Fremantle Press
ISBN: 9781925816716
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Josephine Taylor

Josephine Taylor is a writer and freelance editor who lives on the coast north of Perth, Western Australia. She is an associate editor at Westerly Magazine and an adjunct senior lecturer in Writing at Edith Cowan University. Josephine teaches, facilitates and judges in literary fiction and creative non-fiction. Her personal essays and fiction have been […]