This is the website of Francesca Rendle-Short, author of the novels Bite Your Tongue and Imago:

‘Reading can tickle and turn you upside down. Make your tongue hang loose. Reading changes things.’

All about Bite Your Tongue

“I think she has done it. Bite Your Tongue is all softness and breath, achieved by careful management of voice; finding it, demanding it, censoring it and best of all, controlling it … the mother’s final weeks, is beautiful.’ Annette Hughes, The Newtown Review of Books

‘Part fable, part fact, it illustrates Rendle-Short’s literary prowess, while also taking us on a tour of archives that reveals her mother’s actions as a moral crusader, and memorabilia from a childhood when “Queensland was innocent … the going was pineapple-sweet.”’ Donata Carrazza, Australian Book Review


The novel Bite Your Tongue by Francesca Rendle-Short was published by Spinifex Press in September 2011. It is a work of the imagination that draws on found documents in the archive and on the author’s memory of that time.

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  • Killing the Buddah - Impossible without a body

    Read Francesca’s redacted exegesis on her father’s work “Impossible without a body: a song, (breath), and dust” in Killing the Buddah, 7 January 2014

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  • Poetic Cartography, Love, and Loss

    This new work is in two pieces: the essay or “an intervention as paradox” Poetic Cartography, Love, and Loss and artefact A Matter of View: (From a Book of Annotations).

    Denis Wood writes of this work in Katy?, an introduction of sorts:

    ‘Rendle-Short’s “Poetic Cartography, Love and Loss” is exemplary. A writer of essays, memoir, and fiction, Rendle-Short here presents us with an essay exploring–slippery idea–“poetic cartography,” but about the death of her father. […] She links together memoir, poetry, and cartography, but the last as a metaphor for…knowing the relationships of things? She wants to compose cartography, but in writing. In the end, I come to share her anguish–if that’s right–in her father’s death and his strong creationism, but cartography seems to be her way of suggesting…knowledge.

    And of course mapmaking is a way of knowing…’

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  • BYT review: Kings College London

    Another review of Bite Your Tongue, this time from King’s College London:

    “… the weather, the heat, the profuse tropical growth, the conservatism, the political corruption, the small mindedness, the strength of religiosity … an engaging, unsettling and at times darkly funny account of her childhood”.

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  • Francesca and the 2015 Melbourne Writers Festival

    Francesca will be appearing at the MWF in August in three events: Big Love, Morning Read: Love and WrICE: Writers Across Borders.


    Image: Felix Trinh

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