At the bay

The kids are busy at the river mouth. … There’s one black dog right in there with them, a mad barker, lolling and lollopping. Another dog, black-and-white, more serious, is hanging back, watching, crouched up the beach on its haunches, front paws out, ears up, attentive, as if it’s watching skittish sheep. The dog glances up at Kurt, then back, up then back at the kids, its flock…

In ‘At the Bay’, twenty-year-old Kurt slopes off from the family holiday house, and walks in the rain to the bay. He watches kids and their dogs muck around, build a raft:

All that stuff kids do. All that stuff he’s watched kids do. All that stuff.

‘At the Bay’ is an extract from the forthcoming novel The Hope Fault (Fremantle Press, March 2017). It’s Tracy Farr’s contribution to Good Dog! New Zealand Writers on Dogs, an anthology edited by Stephanie Johnson.

Johnson writes in her introduction to the collection:

Good Dog! is proof that New Zealand writers from the past and present have canine muses. Here we have dog as metaphor, dog as accomplice. Poetry, short stories, extracts from novels, pieces of memoir and non-fiction portray not only the dog, but the human condition.

Contributors to Good Dog! include Fiona Kidman, Charlotte Grimshaw, Tina Makareti, Paula Morris, Michele Leggott, Steve Braunias, Sam Hunt…and Captain James Cook.


‘At the bay’ appears in Good Dog! New Zealand Writers on Dogs (Vintage PRHNZ, October 2016)
Details from Penguin Random House New Zealand

More information

‘At the Bay’ is a chapter (and the first published extract) from Tracy Farr’s forthcoming novel The Hope Fault, published by Fremantle Press in March 2017.

Listen to editor Stephanie Johnson talking with RNZ’s Lynn Freeman about Good Dog!