Stories from the Southern Cross consists of three new pieces of writing produced in collaboration with the first Australia New Zealand Literature Festival. Each story represents a new voice from the Antipodes - a place at once very familiar, but in fact quite different.
The series depicts a world of aggressive ennui, of suburban sprawl battling with a voracious bush and extreme weather, of taboos and generations colliding as old, White Australia comes to terms with another generation of migration.
The second of these three stories is Chris Womersley's The Mare's Nest, in which the narrator remembers his father's psychological disintegration, making him anything but the epitome of the Australian male - the bloke. The father's delusions were fuelled by a very real and extraordinary landscape, by myth and recent history, and by his own father's suicide which - in a culture of denial - becomes his 'disappearance'.
Producer: David Roper
A Heavy Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4.