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Sing Fox To Me

by Sarah Kanake

In 1986, fourteen-year-old twins Samson and Jonah travel from the Sunshine Coast to the wild backcountry of Tasmania to live on a mountain with a granddad they’ve never met. Clancy Fox is a beat-up old man obsessed with finding his long-missing daughter, River. He’s convinced that she was taken by a Tasmanian tiger pack.

The resentful, brooding Jonah and thoughtful, inquisitive Samson become entranced, in different ways, with the mountain. While Samson – who has Down syndrome – finds mystery and delight all around, Jonah develops a dark obsession as persistent as Clancy’s desire to bring River home.

About the Author


‘Kanake’s work paints a world with exacting strokes and compelling insights. Complicated and flawed people are thrust into gritty, uncompromising situations.’
– Cate Kennedy

‘Sing Fox To Me is a compelling novel about landscape and nature, and how unresolved trauma from the past can rise up to haunt a family afresh.’ – Australian Women’s Weekly

There is a wonderfully mystic — even gothic — quality to Sing Fox to Me. Kanake imbues the remote Tasmanian mountains with an impenetrability — an otherness — that makes this story of loss and metamorphosis entirely credible … And she is an efficient storyteller, nimbly balancing the intimate with the grand; personal heartache with the sense of a natural world — sometimes nurturing, sometimes vengeful — that is also suffering’ The Australian

‘Sing Fox to Me… [takes] part in the distinguished line of first novels published in Australia in the past few years.’ – The Age

‘A compelling novel about landscape and nature, and how unresolved trauma from the past can rise up to haunt a family afresh’ – Australian Women’s Weekly

‘Sing Fox to Me is significant for being one of the few novels featuring the point of view of a character with a disability’ – The Big Issue

These are characters that stay with you, though not all comfortably, along with the cadences of a rich and singing prose’ The Adelaide Advertiser

‘This novel is especially fascinating in its treatment of a taboo topic: parental and sibling indifference … [a] sensitively handled exploration of the possibility and impossibility of authentic self-expression.’ – The Saturday Paper

‘This is a revisiting of one of the oldest Australian stories (in fact and fiction) of the child lost in the bush. Kanake’s treatment is at once vibrant and melancholy… Kanake, whose creative-writing PhD analysed depictions of Down syndrome in Australian literature, treats with acuity and sympathy the weight on him of Samson’s extra chromosome, his sensitivity to how outsiders perceive his condition, and the bonds that he is still able to forge.’ – Sydney Morning Herald