In the 1980s in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner, Josie’s father is drinking himself to an ugly and appalling death. Josie’s mother is a factory machinist, bringing home piecework to keep the family afloat.
And Josie is surviving, or not—self-destructive sex, excessive alcohol, drugs, brutalised friendships.
But her internal monologue—intense, immediate and raw—reveals a heartbreaking portrait of an intelligent young woman desperately looking for a way to make sense of her life, grappling with her feelings of repulsion and love for her father and her longing to be loved.
First published in 1998, Losing It is a vivid and visceral account of 1980s working-class Melbourne and a coming-of-age story that is both familiar and unique, shocking and intimate.
The first time you slept with him properly his dad was in Turkey his mum gave you the double bed chocolate-brown velvet bedhead with night-lights in it and a radio, a big furry bedspread and a fake tapestry of lions and tigers on the wall, she even laid out a nightie for you, you didn’t wear it but you crumpled it up to make it look like you did and you woke to a soft touch on your forehead in the morning her gold tooth glinting smiling at you with a boiled egg and a cup of bitter coffee.
Moira Burke is a Melbourne writer. Losing It is her first novel.
‘I read it in a gulp. I seem to know this girl.’ Helen Garner
‘Stark, poetic, truthful, compassionate; self-knowledge comes at a breathtaking pace.’ Carmel Bird