How a Moth Becomes a Boat

Josephine Rowe

How a Moth Becomes a Boat
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How a Moth Becomes a Boat

Josephine Rowe

A person will go blind if they stare at eh sun for too long. She learnt this when she was very young and tried to reverse the process by turning her face towards the warmth of it and waiting. Wondering what people who were not blind dreamed about. A father teaches his daughter how to break whiskey bottles. A woman looks for an old lover in a satellite photograph. A man finds the voice of his dead wife on an unlabelled cassette tape. A blind girl dreams about the taste of the moon. In these stories, Josephine Rowe takes the briefest moments and makes them matter. ‘Josephine Rowe has an ability to capture the core emotional truth of a given moment in such a simple poetic way.’ ANNIE CLARKSON, THE SHORT REVIEW


This commercial reissue of poet Josephine Rowe’s self-published story collection is filled with bittersweet moments of unbridled humanity. With all stories clocking in at under 1000 words and bearing single-word titles, How a Moth Becomes a Boat fits neatly in the pocket whilst quietly sidling up to nuzzle under the chin.

Here we have such tales as a blind girl staring at the moon, a man apologising to the dying fox he has trapped and a lover tracing a map of the world on his girlfriend’s body. Each glowing story seems dipped in gold, at times devastating in its comprehension of what it is to be human, but somehow life affirming. Richard Brautigan once said he wrote poetry in order to learn how to write short stories in order to learn how to write novels. Based on these achingly beautiful, momentous shorts in which Rowe imbues so much life and feeling, we not only have an inheritor to his throne in our midst but a writer truly destined for greatness. A rare, unforgettable collection that will be talked about for years to come.

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