Disappeared artworks, effaced histories, abandoned futures. No Document is an exploration of loss in its many forms, embracing histories of protest and revolution, art-making and cinema, and border policing. It is also an elegy for a friendship and artistic partnership cut short by death, an attempt to make a dear friend emerge from a field of memory, a document continuously emerging. In a bold work by one of Australia’s leading writers, No Document shows how love, kinship, and resistance echo through time.
Anwen Crawford is best known for her writing as a critic, and here she draws also on her background in poetry and visual art in a formally daring work of composition and collage. At once intimate and expansive, No Document reimagines the boundaries that divide us—as people, nations, and species—and asks how we can create forms of solidarity that endure
“Anwen Crawford’s No Document, a memorial to the casualties of late capitalism, occupies the space between elegy and witness, language and art.”—Neha Kale
“No Document is lit throughout by a patient, controlled rage against injustice and suffering. Anwen Crawford deploys fragments to powerful effect in this essay collage, drawing out unexpected connections that startle and illuminate like the flash of a camera. The result is a far-ranging work of mourning and a profoundly moving act of remembrance.”—Michelle de Kretser
“In this arresting book, Anwen Crawford reckons with the death of a close friend and comrade. Seeking a language suitable for grief, Crawford stitches together material from a wide range of sources in a poetic and allusive manner reminiscent of Susan Howe or perhaps a miniature Arcades Project. But this is no insular work of autobiography. Crawford’s meditations on the lost works of the German expressionist painter Franz Marc are exemplary of the book’s political and historical dimensions: though some of Marc’s key paintings were never recovered after their Nazi confiscation, the power they continue to exercise over Crawford’s imagination resonates with the haunting memories of her lost friend... A deeply moving anatomy of personal and political melancholy, No Document speaks as directly to the dead as it does to its reader.”—Joshua Barnes, writer and bookseller in Melbourne
“Anwen Crawford’s No Document, about art, activism, grief and loss, is a book that demands your heart.”—The Saturday Paper