Specimen, by Madison Hamill (VUP 2020)

Neil's picture

Specimen is another collection of personal essays, that once obscure genre which has recently become wildly fashionable. If the quality of Madison Hamill's debut book is anything to go by, it's easy to see why there is a sudden hunger for this kind of writing - it's not only elegantly composed, but the scenarios are by turn uncomfortable, embarrassing, funny, surreal and wise. The subjects cover a wide range of topics, from religion and girl guides, to school life, a psychology internship in South Africa, to boredom and social awkwardness. A great debut.