Tanya Vavilova

‘Grub steps astonishingly outside of realism to vividly imagine a queer dystopian future of sex, sadness and sly humour.’
MOYA COSTELLO, 2019 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award judge



Grub brings its focus to those things we don’t see, to the people on the edges of society who might be a little “grubby”. Its setting is Sydney’s inner west, in a not-too-distant future, where the looming concerns of today (like climate change and capitalism) have come to pass, and subsistence is commonplace. They range from light-hearted, such as ‘Grub’, where an obsession to cleanliness is taken to extremes, to much darker. In ‘Carpark’, a young queer boy is beaten up, watched by a couple from the safety of their apartment, and ‘Whipped Cream’ is a Handmaid’s Tale-type dystopia, with references to breeding and silver vans. Peopled with odd individuals, Grub examines our humanity (and sometimes, lack of) in extreme circumstances.

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TANYA VAVILOVA is an emerging writer preoccupied with liminal spaces and outsider perspectives—by life on the margins. She was recently shortlisted for Overland‘s Neilma Sidney, Overland‘s Fair Australia, Alan Marshall and Katharine Susannah Prichard awards and is the winner of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize in 2018.

Photo credit: Josh Heath


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Publication Date:

6 September 2019