A well-written piece, I think, which teases out quite a few different issues:
‘Corbett’s novel comes at a time when the teen market is saturated with paranormal romances about fallen angels. The cover of her book could give the impression it’s of a similar ilk. But When We Have Wings is more akin to the speculative fiction of Margaret Atwood and Audrey Niffenegger, dealing as it does with adult issues of social engineering, mothering and sacrifice.
“There is no magic in my book. I don’t ask the reader to believe anything that I haven’t researched. There’s nothing that breaks the laws of physics,” Corbett says.
“It is not about flight that is easy and romantic; these people almost need to have the discipline of an Olympic athlete to do it. This is about struggle, achievement and transformation.”
On the book’s cover is an endorsement from filmmaker Jane Campion. Corbett explains that in her second year at UTS she worked as an assistant editor on Campion’s first movie Sweetie. “One of the things that is incredible about Jane is she is interested in other people’s creativity and she really encouraged me,” she says.
Corbett also worked on Campion’s Oscar-award winning The Piano, but then lost contact with the director for 20 years. “I was so excited when I’d finished this book and I thought, ‘She’s always believed in me as a writer, I’ve now got something to show her’,” Corbett says.
“I just wanted her to read it. Instead, she rang up and said, ‘My God, you’ve done it, I love it’.’