The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

Sarah Walker

We live in a world that expects us to be constantly in control of ourselves. Our bodies and minds, though, have other ideas.
In this striking debut, artist and writer Sarah Walker wrestles with the awkward spaces where anatomy meets society: body image and Photoshop, phobias and religion, sex scenes and onstage violence, death and grief. Her luminous writing is at once specific and universal as she mines the limits of anxiety, intimacy and control.
Sharp-witted and poignant, this collection of essays explores our unruly bodies and asks how we might learn to embrace our own chaos.

The First Time I Thought I Was Dying blew me away. In this unparalleled age of self-surveillance – a peak moment for body-estrangement – Walker reacquaints us with the true sorcery of the senses, and with the inner life awakened by loving the body in all its animal unruliness.

- Rebecca Gigs

This is an essay collection in which the most difficult and abject parts of being a human in a body are examined with full and unflinching frankness ... contains a robust academic backbone of references, quotes and reflection ... formidable and intimate.

- Books+Publishing

Non Fiction, Essays

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker makes work about anxiety, control and intimacy in text, video and immersive installation. She is a Walkley-nominated essayist and critic, and is one of Australia’s most experienced arts photographers. She lives, surfs (badly) and gardens (also badly) on Wadawurrung country in Geelong.

University of Queensland Press (UQP)

For 70 years UQP has been at the forefront of innovative publishing. It has launched the careers of many great novelists, published contemporary poets, been a pioneering force in children’s and young adult publishing and has set the benchmark for award-winning scholarly and Black Australian writing.

<em>The First Time I Thought I Was Dying</em>
World; Audio; Film/TV
Hayley Tomlinson