The "blurb" on the back cover
WHEN 27-YEAR-OLD RENATA OCHILTREE STEPS OFF A MOUNTAIN into thin air, she is injured in both body and soul. Encased in plaster in her hospital bed, she reflects on the love of her life and its pointlessness, while her family members squabble at her bedside.
Deeply frustrated, she battles anger, humiliation and depression with an intensity that will lead either to emotional death or true survival. Resolution of this battle comes from an unexpected source.
Set in 1973, the story is based on a real event. That year, Sally Morrison, a scientist like Renata, fell from a mountain in Victoria's Cathedral Ranges. The world of 1973 is evoked, with the aftermath of Vietnam, the reforming, progressive government of the day, genetic science in its infancy and the liberation of women like Renata, into property ownership and the professions. These were the times evoked in Mad Meg, Morrison's novel that won the 1995 National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction.
Excerpt from a review by Andrew Riemer
"Morrison is unusual among contemporary Australian novelists, particularly women writers. She is unafraid of ideas; her work reveals a quirky independence, a reluctance to follow fashion, besides shrewd insights into what makes human beings tick. What is more, she takes on the quintessentially male world of science, eschewing the sentimental suspiciousness characteristic of many feminists of her generation, replacing it with a tough-minded assurance that cuts a swathe through the testosterone-driven rituals of scientists and their offsiders. And in addition to all that she is a disciplined, stylish and polished writer, itself a rarity in this age of mush and sloppiness.
…by means of a cast of sharply observed supporting characters, ranging from a demented old lady dying in the bed next to Renata's to Eleanor, a ghastly scientific virtuoso on the make, as much as the major actors in Renata's fortunes or misfortunes, Morrison has contrived to chart the territory of the recent past with wit, verve and intelligence.
The Insatiable Desire of Injured Love may strike some readers as relatively small-scale and narrow in focus. But it runs deep, like much still water and is well worth gazing at to discover just how deep it manages to run. "
(Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald, September 14th, 2002)
Sally Morrison talks about her novel The Insatiable Desire of Injured Love
on the ABC's Ockham's Razor