The Shit Fairy
Avril’s feelings for Dan are confusing. Hardened by institutional life, Avril Maguire sees Dan as someone she can use and manipulate. She has no concept of consequences and has difficulty adjusting to the psychological abuses by the staff.
Their friendship develops amongst the chaos of her mind, and her past. She inhabits two worlds. One of the sun’s rays, where she is burdened by her disability, and that of the moon’s beams, where she is tucked up tight in bed, free to explore her dreams. It’s through these worlds that Avril discovers a sense of identity and belonging.
The enigma that is Avril Maguire is unique in the complexity of a beautiful mind. Avril’s mischievous giggle is infectious and wills you into a world that is heart-felt and challenging.
This is the second book in a series that follows Avril Maguire as she navigates a not so perfect world. At the age of five, Avril was sent to Pleasant Creek. In 1982 she was transferred to Aradale; formally known as Ararat Lunatic Asylum, which housed the adult population. We pick up Avril’s story as the year sees out the end of the 20th Century.
The true origins of the circle come from pagan rituals that worshipped the Sun and the Moon.
Avril knew the power of the circle; it was a symbol of defiance for the little girl that never grew up. She tried to block out the past and imagine her future. The scars on her forearms were a reminder; each one a chapter, a story. Danny Walters is one of Avril’s care workers; their relationship is conditional and one that is renegotiated on a daily basis. Hardened by institutional culture, Avril has no language and is frustrated by the restrictive practices to control her behaviour. Yet she is intrigued by the power she has over Dan.
“Dan thinks I’m all sugar and spice!” Hee
About the Author
I was born in Melbourne and completed formal studies to gain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the federation University. My interest in psychiatric art lead to chance meeting with Dr Cunningham Dax in 1997 who was cataloguing the collection of psychiatric art from Aradale Mental Hospital, formerly known as Ararat Lunatic Asylum. This was the turning point in my career; I had the privilege of working with people in the disability sector who have fragile and broken minds, plus challenging and complex behaviours.
It was here I met some interesting characters and some beautiful minds filled with dreams and aspirations. I find it humbling to hold the memories of such souls; they will be always cherished and valued.
The Shit Fairy which is subtitled; The Complexities of a beautiful Mind, is a fictional book with contemporary historical elements. We follow the main character, Avril Maguire who has a profound disability. She was brought up in “institutional care” such as Pleasant Creek in Stawell and then transferred to Aradale in 1982, which housed the adult population. The plight of Avril is a poignant reminder regarding the recent Royal Commission into the Disability sector in Australia. I regard myself as a passionate advocate for people like Avril.
Avril story is set in the mid to late 1990’s and we follow her during the transitional period when it was Government policy to close these notorious institutions and integrate residents into social housing. These units were called Client Residential Units (CRU’s). The social expectations were a far cry from a society that had excluded her for thirty-six years.
This is the first book in a series that follows Avril Maguire as she navigates a not so perfect world. Her fear is that she will inflict her will on you! Will you still like me.