Stephanie Alwyn’s life is a mess. Her housemate’s trying to control Time, her Prince Charming wants to amputate her leg, and at the Psychiatric unit where she works, only some of the staff are mad. Stephanie’s refuge is a cracking wit and mordant irony, a penchant for blazing black humour and an alter-ego’s voice merging with her own, locked inside her head.
But that’s not enough to save her. She needs to unlock the past, she needs to find the unicorns.
Unicorns? Nothing in Stephanie’s life is what it seems to be: everything has its other side, its shadow. Her wisecracks give way, unexpectedly, to wisdom…
A breathtaking story of life, love and loss, Looking For Unicorns is remarkably controlled, imaginative, restorative. Its sheer narrative power rollercoasts you into hilarity even as its startling climax slaps you square in the face. Fresh, original, this is a novel that announces a major new talent in Australian fiction.
Published by New Edeavour Press 1992.
Critical acclaim for Looking for Unicorns.
“. . . Easily the best Australian novel I have read this year. . . Looking For Unicorns is the first time I ever found myself in complete agreement with the extravagant claims of the cover blurb. Even the slightest characters are lit up by Brett’s considerable powers of observation, blazing and flaring along the story-line. Brett has a brilliant sense of humour and it is stitched so neatly into the text that it constantly catches you unawares. . . An absorbing, funny story that actually exercises a healing effect on you while you read. . . I passed this book around and was able to observe the same behaviour I had displayed: total absorption punctuated by shouts of laughter. . . pure gold . . .” – Leon Trainor – The Weekend Australian
“Doris Brett has turned to fiction with outstanding assurance. . . This is a detective story of the dark places of the heart. . . Brett shows herself as a novelist of intelligence and grace.” – John Hanrahan – The Melbourne Report
“Looking For Unicorns contains wisdom – both particular and general – that is slowly dragged from Stephanie despite her wit, her dark humour and the secret buried somewhere in her subconscious. Brett’s descriptions can get you a bad name, if you’re the type who laughs aloud on trains. By the time the mask of humour has been removed and Stephanie is preparing to confront herself, her emotional problems and her life, Brett has you hooked.” – The Brisbane Courier-Mail
“Few human stories are told with the wit and humour of this sharp, bright novel.” – Deborah Stone – The Sunday Age
“. . . razor-sharp one-liners . . . an engaging and sensitive ,exploration of loss and lost opportunities. . .” – Australian Bookseller and Publisher